1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire

A bear spent Wednesday and the morning hours of Thursday in trees before running into the woods

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says firefighters entered the strip mall Thursday evening because there were still people inside.

Dozens have taken to social media to express their condolences and love for fallen firefighter Scott Deem.

"We also ask that you pray for our other brothers also injured in this blaze and that they heal quickly", the statement said.

The fire started around 9 p.m. Thursday at the Ingram Square shopping center on Ingram Road.

Since firefighters had to take a "defensive" approach in fighting the flames, fire officials say they had to make the hard decision to leave Deem behind.

The second firefighter, who was part of the rescue team, was taken to University Hospital in Priority 2 condition. "That is not what we do, but we had the risk of losing probably an additional 15 to 20 firefighters if we did not go defensive on this fire".

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Hood did not say exactly what led to Deem's death. "But we're gonna continue to do the good job we always do", he said.

Hood said crews affected by the fire were placed with crisis intervention personnel for support.

Two firefighters went missing during the evacuation, Hood said.

"We are anticipating both of these firefighters are going to be OK, but we're asking for your prayers", the chief said.

At the height of the fire, 61 fire vehicles were on scene.

Hood said more information will be released at a press conference Friday morning.

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