Remembering Dalhart firemen 6 months after deadly crash

VIDEO - Remembering Dalhart firemen 6 months after deadly crash
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 11:10 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today marks the six month anniversary of a deadly crash in Dalhart that took two heroes away from the community.

On Oct. 4, 2022, Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Curtis Brown and Firefighter Brendan Torres were heading back to the station after assisting the city of Stratford with a car crash. That’s when they were involved in a crash of their own.

Rescue personnel from their own department responded to the head-on collision that was between a semi-truck and a Dalhart Fire Department vehicle.

Brown and Torres were pronounced dead at the scene, and their loss is still felt at the fire department.

Fire Chief Mario Garcia Jr., who was the assistant fire chief under Brown, says experiencing firsts without the two men has been emotional for the station.

“I look across all the eyes of all my firemen and you can tell that we’re all still hurting over this and we just keep on in their honor, just keep the tradition going, keep working, and keep trying hard,” Garcia said.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 5, both men will be recognized in Austin at the Volunteer Firemen Monument.

“It’s not something that you particularly look forward to being on but for the sacrifice and time spent of our guys Curtis and Brendan to be memorialized on that memorial is an honor,” said Garcia.

On the Texas Capital grounds, a bronze figure of a fireman carries a frightened child in his left arm and a lantern in his right. The monument holds the names of all volunteer firemen who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The Dalhart firefighters are also planning a memorial wall at the station to remember Brown and Torres.

“We’ll build wooden lockers for them. And we’ll fix it up with lighting and put their gear inside of there and we have some really nice plaques and pictures of them just somewhere that we can, you know, honor them and go back and just memorialize them here at the station,” Garcia said.

DVFD is also working on turning Brown’s dream into a reality as they raise money for the new emergency response center. They said Brown was a huge advocate for the new building.

“We want to, we have to complete this. Because like I said, we’re running out of space and we want to honor Curtis and have his dream completed. We want to complete his dream,” Garcia said.

The memorial wall will be transferred from the current station to the new station, which will hopefully break ground in June, he said.

dalhart emergency response building
dalhart emergency response building(none)