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/fffmarusik.pdf - the following incident summary is from the report:
On March 10, 2018, Ellinger Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) responded to a reported grass fire on East Tobias Road near Cordes Road in Ellinger, Texas. Firefighter Larry Marusik was conducting suppression activities on the rear of Grass 5 (G5). Firefighter Marusik was wearing street clothes and no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
A hose line came off the rear reel of G5 and Firefighter Marusik went to retrieve it. He draped a portion of the hose line over his shoulder and returned to his position on the driver’s side rear of the truck. He pulled the door closed but it was not latched. The wind shifted and the fire began to rapidly approach the vehicle. The operator accelerated away from the fire and the loose hose line pulled Firefighter Marusik out of the truck. The second firefighter on the rear of the truck alerted the driver. Firefighter Marusik was located by the crew and found to have suffered major burns.
The second firefighter on the rear of the truck sustained burns to his arm while recovering Firefighter Marusik. Firefighter Marusik was transported to the staging area by G5, treated by other firefighters, and EMS was called.
Firefighter Marusik was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center Emergency Department by Air Evac Lifeteam Air Medical Ambulance Service. Firefighter Marusik was stabilized and transferred to the Burn Unit/ICU. The second firefighter was treated at the scene. On March 23, 2018, Firefighter Marusik succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. An autopsy was conducted by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Incident Location: Vicinity of Ellinger, TX 78644 (U.S. National Grid: 14R QU 2192 0324 )