LONGVIEW NEWS-JOURNAL, LONGVIEW, TEXAS
Monday, January 26, 2009
TWO KILGORE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED
By GLENN EVANS
KILGORE — Two Kilgore firefighters died in a training exercise Sunday, falling eight stories while working with a new ladder truck atop a Kilgore College dormitory.
Kyle Perkins, 45, and Cory Galloway, 28, were pronounced dead at a Longview hospital from injuries they sustained in the 2:05 p.m. fall from the top of Stark Hall, Kilgore fire and police spokesman Lt. Roman Roberson said.
Two other Kilgore firefighters, whose names were not immediately available from the department, were treated for minor injuries and released from Good Shepherd Medical Center, Roberson said.
"The cause of the accident has not been determined," he said. "We haven't determined if they were actually on the ladder (or the roof). There were some witnesses that said the ladder may have gotten hung up on the building."
Kilgore College spokesman Chris Craddock said at least two students witnessed the incident. They were seeing counselors Sunday night, Craddock said, adding that area churches also were making counseling available to the student body.
He said this was not the first exercise the department conducted with its new ladder truck at the dorm, which probably is the tallest building in Kilgore.
"I've seen them out here at least one time doing training with the truck," he said. Roberson also said fire crews have been training with the ladder truck.
Public Safety Chief Ronnie Moore, who oversees police and fire departments, was not available for comment Sunday. Moore broke news of the deaths to the men's families, Roberson said.
He also said counselors have been made available to department members. Roberson did not immediately know the last time a Kilgore firefighter died in the line of duty.
Flags at Kilgore City Hall were lowered to half-staff Sunday night to honor the lost men.
Galloway, from Grand Saline, had been with the department one year this month. Perkins, a Kilgore resident, joined the department in July 2004.
"It's a sad day for Kilgore," Craddock said.