A veteran Dallas Fire Captain suffered an apparant heart attack while battling a house fire Thursday night, according to department spokesman Lt. Doug Dickerson.
Firefighters arriving at the large 2-story home in north Dallas reported smoke from the 2nd floor as they stretched their hose lines for an interior attack. Shortly after their arrival, the fire broke through the roof and a 2nd alarm was requested.
Firefighters made their way to the 2nd floor, attempting to gain access to the attic area and cut the fire off. Captain DePauw was part of the initial fire attack team and became unconscious on the 2nd floor.
Fellow firefighters removed Captain DePauw from the structure as other firefighters continued to battle the blaze. The fire damage was contained to the attic area, with smoke and water damage to the rest of the home, causing approximately $150,000 damage. Captain DePauw was transported to Medical City Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:04 p.m.
It is believed that Captain DePauw suffered a massive heart attack while battling the blaze, but the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy and make an exact ruling on the cause of death. Captain DePauw was 51 years old and joined the department on March 6, 1972, giving him over 30 years of experience. Captain DePauw leaves behind a wife and 5 children.
Captain DePauw is the second firefighter to lose his life battling a fire this year in Dallas. Firefighter Vince Davis died after being trapped under a collapsed wall on February 11.
Response: 10 pieces of heavy fire equipment, 40 firefighters
Visitation will be held at the Blue Bonnet Hills Funeral Home. 5725 Colleyville Blvd. Colleyville, TX 76034 on Monday, December 9, 2002 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Funeral service to be held at the Richland Hills Church of Christ. 6300 N.E. Loop 820, Richland Hills, TX 76180 on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 11:00 a.m.
There will be an apparatus procession from the church to the cemetary immediately following the funeral service.
Dallas Fire-Rescue is asking departments that wish to participate in the procession to please be at the church by 10:00 a.m.
Dallas Fire-Rescue members will direct apparatus to the appropriate staging area and ready them for departure from the church.
Burial to follow the funeral service at Blue Bonnet Hill Memorial Park, 5725 Colleyville Blvd. Colleyville, TX 76034
A reception hosted by the Dallas Firefighters Association will be held after the burial service. Please check the DFFA website for hotel and reception information.