They were the first running into battle flames at the West fertilizer plant. With the explosion, firefighters who took those brave steps didn't make it out alive.
Jerry Chapman, 26, volunteered with the Abbott Fire Department. His friend, Sharon Matthews, said they were inseparable.
When Chapman didn't answer his phone the night of the explosion, Matthews tried not to imagine the worst.
Firefighter Cyrus Reed grew up in Houston and also died in the explosion. At the West fire station, survivors are trying to stay strong.
George Nors Junior stepped in as acting Chief, because his father, the regular Chief is injured and in the hospital. Nors Junior hopes his own role as leader here is temporary.