Austin firefighter honored almost a year after being injured in fire

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin firefighter Jimmy Casares was honored by Gov. Greg Abbott at the State Capitol, along with other first responders who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Casares received the Star of Texas Award on Monday. He was badly burned during the Dry Creek condo fire on Oct. 18, 2015.

When firefighters went inside the building, the second floor collapsed. Three firefighters fell to the bottom of the first floor. Two managed to escape.

Casares was caught under a pile of debris. The Dry Creek Drive started near RM 2222 and Mopac. Crews entered the dangerous fire to attempt to save someone in the building, but that person turned out to be out of town.

Remembering the moment, Casares said, “We get there, we get to work… things just kind of happened really fast, changed in the blink of an eye.”

The two other firefighters injured in that fire, William Cook and Lieutenant Jeremy Burke, were honored at the Austin Fire Department Awards. All three received purple heart awards.

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