Firefighter Deem was assigned to conduct a search of the gym occupancy. After locating the fire and calling for a hose line, conditions rapidly worsened and Firefighter Deem became disoriented within the structure. A “mayday” was initiated but Firefighter Deem could not be located.
Fire conditions continued to worsen, and a defensive strategy was declared. When the fire was sufficiently controlled, Firefighter Deem was removed from the building. His death was caused by asphyxiation.
This was an incendiary (arson) fire. The owner of the gym, Emond Javor Johnson, has been arrested on arson and murder charges for intentionally setting the fatal fire. According to media reports, he was behind on his rent by $6,000.
The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office prepared a detailed report on this incident. The report is available at https://www.tdi.texas.gov/reports/fire/documents/fffsadeem.pdf
Incident Location: 6782 Ingram Rd, San Antonio, TX 78238 (U.S. National Grid: 14R NT 3639 5935)
San Antonio Fire Department
315 South Santa Rosa Avenue
U.S. National Grid: 14R NT 4862 5496
San Antonio, Texas 78207
Chief: Charles N. Hood
|Incident date:||May 18, 2017 21:12|
|Date of death:||May 18, 2017|
|Cause of death:||Lost|
|Nature of death:||Asphyxiation|
|Activity type:||Search and Rescue|
|Duty type:||On-Scene Fire|
|Fixed property use:||Store/Office|