Chief, 19-year-old firefighter killed in Texas crash remembered as ‘selfless Americans’

Left: Screengrab from Dalhart XIT Rangers' Facebook. Right: Photo from the Dalhart Fire Department

Multiple communities mourn the deaths of two firefighters killed in a Texas car crash.

Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Brendan Torres and fire Chief Curtis Brown responded to a call on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 4, Amarillo.com reported. A while later, they were driving back to the station on U.S. 54 when a semitrailer tried to pass another vehicle and hit the firefighters head-on, the outlet reported.

Nineteen-year-old Torres and Brown, 51, died at the scene, News Channel 10 reported.

The truck driver was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries, The Associated Press reported, citing the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department confirmed the deaths “with hearts full of sadness and grief,” the Facebook post said.

Fire departments from across the country offered their condolences in the comments of the post. “The entire fire service mourns this loss,” one wrote.

“Rest easy Chief and young hero,” another person commented.

Tributes poured out for Brown and Torres.

“I have had the privilege of knowing and considering Curtis (Brown) a friend for many years,” one person commented. “There has never been anyone who better represented the fire service and its values.”

“Curtis was such an amazing man that will be missed by many,” another comment said.

Torres had just graduated from Dalhart High School this year. Dalhart is about 85 miles northwest of Amarillo, in the Texas Panhandle.

He “died in the wake of doing something he’s loved ever since he was a little boy playing in his firefighter costume,” Rusty N Ginger Fisher posted on Facebook. “I can close my eyes and still see him wearing it.”

Torres was remembered by the horseback riding and rodeo community. The Dalhart XIT Rangers mourned their lost member, saying on Facebook that “his heart was just as big as the smiles he gave each and every one of us. It was an honor to know such a great young man and we will forever be grateful for the time we shared with him.”

“Selfless Americans like Brendan… and Chief Brown sacrifice all to keep their families, friends and neighbors safe,” another person wrote on Facebook.

The mayor of Dalhart asked all businesses to lower their flags to half-staff to honor the firefighters, according to a Facebook post.

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