Deadly Ingram Square Fire Investigation Continues

By Pilar Arias

Nearly a month after the fire that claimed the life of San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood announced every firefighter and civilian in the department who wants to see inside the structure will be able to do so.

The Ingram Square fire on May 18 also injured two other firefighters, Brad Phipps and Robert Vasquez.

Vasquez was treated and released.

Phipps remains in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. Hood said Phipps has had his breathing tube removed but was undergoing surgery Tuesday.

“This is a place that will provide closure for the members of this organization,” Hood said. “This will also provide us several learning opportunities.”

Hood thanked the owner of the structure and the shopping center to allow SAFD the opportunity. Over 2,000 people will get to go through the building in the next week or so. Crews rotating through will get educational information, a floor plan of the site and a chance to see where several different things happened during the fire. Hood said they will also look at photographs of the site before and after the fire.

“We are still recovering as we speak. This investigation is still ongoing,” Hood said. He said there are still no answers as to what caused the fire or Deem’s death.

The SAFD Arson Bureau, ATF, State Fire Marshal’s Office and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are the agencies involved in the investigation.

Hood said once he receives any information it will first be shared with widow Jennifer Deem, followed by Tina Phipps and then the media. Hood said the department will be very transparent with what they learn because it’s a chance to honor Deem and share information with other fire agencies.

Hood asked the community for continued prayers for the fire department, Phipps family and Deem family.

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