Firefighter dies battling house fire in Kingwood area

By Mary Benton , Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter , Marisa Breese - News Producer

HOUSTON - A makeshift memorial could be seen outside of HFD Station 104 Thursday morning for Daniel Groover, the firefighter who died while battling a 2-alarm blaze in the Kingwood area Wednesday.

"I think if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have my child," said Amy Scanlon.

She is fighting back tears, knowing a man who came to her rescue has died in the line of duty.

On a small American flag, Scanlon wrote a note, "You saved two of my kids lives. Thank you. You will be missed."

She left the flag outside HFD Station 104 in honor of Groover.

A Houston Fire Department official said the fire broke out shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday in the 1500 block of Mistletoe Lane at Redbud. Neighbors said units responded within minutes, but in about 30 minutes the flames were so intense HFD pulled a second alarm.

Firefighters attacked the fire and went inside not knowing if anyone was home. No people were inside, but several dogs had to be rescued.

Groover, 46, was on the second floor with a crew when he collapsed.

According to HFD, CPR was performed on Groover, who was transported in critical condition to Kingwood Medical Center, where he later died.

Houston firefighters held a procession Wednesday night as the fallen firefighter's body was brought to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials hoped an autopsy would determine exactly what caused Groover's death.

Groover worked with the Houston Fire Department since 1993.

Neighbors who pitched in with food and water to assist the firefighters in the hot, humid conditions said they were sad to learn of the passing of Groover while trying to save the home.

One group paying tribute to Groover Thursday afternoon was the Wives of Houston Firefighters, an organization that supports HFD families in their time of need.

"We just do as much as we can to provide meals and support and prayers, whatever they need," said Tiffany Davidson. "You try never to put yourself in that situation, but you feel for that family and you know it could happen to any one of us and it hurts you just as much as it hurts that family."

Bryan Sky-Eagle, the president of the Houston Professional FireFighters Association, said the group working with Groover's family to plan a final salute.

"We're supporting the family, concentrating on funeral services and putting together a procession. It's an overwhelming experience," said Sky-Eagle.

Sky-Eagle said the family wants to hold the funeral services as soon as possible. The department is tentatively working on a 10 a.m. Saturday service. More details will be announced later Thursday.

The loss is being felt all over Houston with flags flying at half-staff.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

If you'd like to help the Groover family, you can donate to HFD's 100 Club fund by clicking here.

HFD and HPD will also be holding a benefit hockey game to raise money for the Groover family. You can find more information by clicking here.

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