Southwest Inn fire victims killed in 2013 motel disaster honored by Houston FD

Robert Baby, Robert Garner, Matthew Renault, Ann Sullivan and Captain Bill Dowling died as a result of a motel fire in 2013.

Wed, May 31, 2023, 11:40 p.m

HFD firefighters killed in a motel fire 10 years later are honored

Houston, Texas (KTRK) – It’s been 10 years since a horrific fire killed five firefighters with the Houston Fire Department.

On May 31, 2013, Robert Baby, Robert Garner, Matthew Reno, and Ann Sullivan rushed into the Southwest Inn and never got out when the roof of their building collapsed.

A fifth firefighter, Captain Bill Dowling, survived the first tragedy. He lost both of his legs and later died from complications from those injuries in 2017.

The HFD remembered all five firefighters for their act of bravery on Wednesday.

The department holds a small annual ceremony on site where the officials ring a gong to honor their colleagues.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña posted photos of the fallen heroes, asking the public to take a moment and pray for them and their loved ones.

Changes to the department have occurred in past years as a result of the fire.

Wireless communication was nearly impossible on the day of the fire because so many radios were used. Right now, radio traffic is limited.

The hotel was also being remodeled, so the crews had no idea what to plan that day. Since then, the department has made plans available online for the fire brigade’s response.

See previous coverage:

Remember The Southwest Inn Fire: 9 years ago the deadliest HFD day in history

HFD honors the firefighters killed in the department’s deadliest fire

HFD Captain Dowling, who was injured in a 2013 motel fire, perished

Wife of fallen HFD captain sues Motorola over SW Inn fire

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