LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin resident Scott Thomas served as a Houston firefighter more than 20 years ago.
Wednesday, he joined firefighters nationwide who grieved theloss of four of their own, heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice battling a Houstonrestaurant fire last week.
"Any firefighter goesdown its hard, it's like a brother or sister," said Thomas.
Thomas says as a firefighter you risk your life every dayand believes the love of service is what connects all firefighters.
"You learned to putyour trust and your life in their hands, you become not just partners but youbecome family members," said Thomas.
Lufkin Fire Chief Ted Lovett says paying their respects is apriority, to acknowledge the lives and sacrifices made by their brothers.
"Its family and we try to represent as our department thatwe can make a showing that we are honoring the fallen," said Lovett.
Lovett says that it's been a tough year for fire fighters inTexas, the official death toll already stands at 13.
"We lose over 100 a year on average in the nation but thisyear in the state of Texas it's just been bad," said Lovett.
Fire officials say they look at each fire and try to learnfrom them in order to make their jobs safer.
But Thomas says no day is promised in the line of duty.
"They give up theirlives to save others they leave their house in the morning tell their lovedones bye and then all of a sudden they don't come home," said Thomas.
He hopes the community remembers their selfless act andappreciates their service to saving others in the community.
10 firefighters from the City of Lufkin attended the Houstonmemorial service.
Five other Houston firefighters were injured , in what'sbeing called the deadliest fire in the department's history.