SAFD Chief Opens Up About Deadly Fire

By Pilar Arias

It hasn’t been a week since a fire at a northwest side shopping center claimed the life of firefighter Scott Deem, but the San Antonio Fire Department has been coping with the loss while planning his celebration of life.

“Everyone takes it differently but for the men and women that worked with him, they’re very traumatized,” SAFD Chief Charles Hood said. “I think the thing that we also found out is that it’s become real for our family members.”

The chief sees it as his personal responsibility to help those in the department through the grieving process. SAFD, along with Deem’s family, are finalizing the funeral arrangements for Thursday and Friday.

“There was love there before this happened and that love is there for them and they’re strong. Obviously, they’re hurt. They’re devastated and it’s our job to get them through this situation,” Hood said of Deem’s family.

Chief said the comprehensive investigation into the fire is now threefold: the cause of the fire, the line of duty death investigation and then the operations portion. Air conditioning units and portions of the building’s roof have had to be removed in the process.

Listen to our full interview with Chief Hood here  


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