WHEELER, Texas (Houston Chronicle) – A gripping photo of two volunteer firefighters resting as smoke and smog surround them is gaining interest on social media.
Mark Marshall, a volunteer firefighter for Wheeler County, captured the photo of his fellow firemen, Braden Moore and Marcus Rose, resting as they were fighting a fire in neighboring Gray County. They are all volunteer firefighters for Wheeler County but their full-time jobs are on area oilfields.
“This is why you pray for firefighters,” Joanna Marshall, Mark’s wife, captioned the photo on Facebook on Tuesday night. Since then, the photo has gotten more than 190 shares and 140 reactions.
Some commenters shared Joanna’s sentiment saying, “We are very thankful for all they do and their family members like you who do so much to help our community and surrounding area. Thank you!”
“Poor guys. We have some of the best in Wheeler County,” Tracy Jones commented on the post.
The men were among several firefighters who responded to six field fires across more than 25,000 acres since last Friday in Gray and Wheeler counties, east of Amarillo, according to Ken Daughtry, the Emergency Management coordinator for Wheeler County.
The firefighters left around 3 p.m. Tuesday and didn’t return until around 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to Marshall.
The photograph shows the two men resting on their Ford trucks after doing preventative measures to fight one of the fires that took out 13,000 acres in the county, according to Daughtry.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office suspects the possibility of an arsonist, according to a Facebook post.
“Sheriff [Wes] Crites is asking all residences to report any and all suspicious activities. It is should be known that there is $1000 reward being offered by a Wheeler County Resident for the identity, arrest, and/or conviction of any and all parties responsible for setting fires,” the Facebook post reads.
Any tips to the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office can be reported at 806-826-5537, and also Top of Texas Crime Stoppers at 806-669-2222. All tips called into Crime Stoppers remain anonymous.