HOUSTON – Houston Fire Capt. Tommy Searcy, 45, died Tuesday after a monthslong battle with coronavirus, the Fire Department confirmed to KPRC 2.
The 18-year veteran of the department spent weeks in intensive care at Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands, according to the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association.
In their effort to help save their colleague’s life, members of Searcy’s Station 67 crew and the fire union battled red tape to help him get an experimental drug. In the early hours of August 18, Searcy’s coworkers even escorted the drug from Houston Methodist hospital to The Woodlands hospital where Searcy was being treated in the ICU.
“His death will be classified as a line-of-duty death by HFD,” the union wrote on Facebook. “He is the third Houston firefighter to die from complications of COVID-19.”
“Capt. Searcy leaves behind a loving family, many friends and a long list of Houston firefighters who respected and enjoyed serving with him. We are praying for his three daughters, Kaylin, Krista and Kinley, and his twin brother, Tony, who is a senior captain in HFD. The Searcy family asked us to share thanks to the community for so strongly supporting them during Tommy’s illness," said union president Patrick “Marty” Lancton in a statement Tuesday.
“We mourn the loss of a most outstanding fire officers, selfless teammate & tireless public servants Pray for his family as they grieve his passing,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña tweeted Tuesday.
“All of us @houstonpolice mourn the loss of another one of our HFD colleagues. May he Rest In Peace and his family, friends and colleagues be comforted by God,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo wrote in response.
“He would do anything, do anything for you. He was just a great, great guy,” said Houston Fire Capt. Doug Hodges.
The two met years ago at Station 67 in Northwest Houston, where the flags were lowered to half-staff on Tuesday.
“It didn’t matter what was going on. If you needed something, you could call him and he would be there,” Hodges said.
Asst. Fire Chief Michael Mire called the loss “devastating” for the department and the city.
“The number of lives who have been impacted by his existence on Earth and his work in the city of Houston is something that’s beyond imagination,” Mire said.
Tuesday evening, Houston firefighters honored Searcy as his casket arrived at Klein Funeral Home. Watch below:
WATCH LIVE: Procession in honor of HFD Captain Tommy Searcy who died today after monthslong battle with COVID-19. https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/09/08/hfd-captain-dies-after-monthslong-battle-with-coronavirus-officials-say/Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Details of the memorial service for Searcy will be released in the coming days, the union said.
In July, HFD Capt. Leroy Lucio became the first member of the Houston Fire Department to die from coronavirus-related complications. He was a 29-year veteran of the department. In early August, Peña announced that 50-year-old firefighter paramedic Jerry Pacheco had also died from coronavirus complications.