17-year HFD veteran dies from coronavirus, chief says

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña tweeted Monday that Houston firefighter paramedic Jerry Pacheco, 50, died from complications of COVID-19 on Monday morning.

HOUSTON – The Houston Fire Department has lost another member due to coronavirus.

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña tweeted Monday that Houston firefighter paramedic Jerry Pacheco, 50, died from complications of COVID-19 on Monday morning.

Peña said Pacheco was a 17-year veteran of the department. He was assigned to station 101 in Kingwood.

“Please keep the family, friends and station crew of Jerry Pacheco in your thoughts and prayers,” said Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Patrick M. Lancton. “Jerry leaves behind a loving family, including a son in the Houston Fire Department, many friends and a long list of Houston firefighters who respected and enjoyed serving with him. We mourn the loss of our friend. His tragic death is another reminder to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our families, friends and station crews safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lancton said he was saddened to receive the call Monday because Pacheco’s health appeared to have been improving.

“It appeared as though it was getting better. We got the phone call this morning that was not the case. Our Houston firefighter paramedic Jerry Pacheco went to be with God this morning,” he said.

Pacheco leaves behind two sons, one of whom is a Houston firefighter.

According to the HPFFA, Pacheco’s death will be classified as a “line-of-duty” death by HFD.

Houston Fire Capt. Leroy Lucio died on July 20 also from complications of coronavirus. Lucio also worked in Kingwood at station 103. He was a 29-year veteran of the department.

HFD said 175 firefighters are currently in quarantine and 59 firefighters have tested positive.


About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.