Firefighter injured in San Antonio strip mall blaze now breathing on his own

First responders fight a 4-alarm blaze on Ingram Road in San Antonio on May 18, 2017 (Photo via WOAI)
First responders fight a 4-alarm blaze on Ingram Road in San Antonio on May 18, 2017 (Photo via WOAI)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — The San Antonio firefighter critically injured while fighting a strip mall fire last month is now breathing on his own, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Brad Phipps’s breathing tube was recently taken out at Brooke Army Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition. The newspaper says he is undergoing multiple skin graft surgeries, including an operation scheduled for Tuesday.

Fire Chief Charles Hood was able to communicate with Phipps, a father of two who joined the department in 2006, in what he described as a “very uplifting” experience.

One firefighter was killed in the May 18 four-alarm fire at 6776 Ingram Rd. on the city’s northwest side, near Ingram Park Mall. Firefighter Scott Deem died while trying to put out the flames. Because the situation was becoming too dangerous, the fire chief said the rest of the firefighters had to evacuate the building, leaving Deem behind. Phipps was one of two firefighters injured that night.

Once the fire was out and crews were able to remove Deem’s body, first responders lined the parking lot as his body was taken away.

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