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Brother keeps memory of Houston firefighter alive through charity

“A huge part of my life was taken,” David Renaud said about his brother Matthew, killed in the Southwest Inn fire


KHOU 11/YouTube

By Bill Carey
FireRescue1 Staff

HOUSTON — Matthew Renaud is one of five Houston firefighters killed 10 years ago in the tragic Southwest Inn fire. In the years since his passing, his brother David has taken his memory and used it to help other firefighters.

“Sometimes it feels a lot longer than 10 years,” David Renaud said. “I miss my brother. A huge part of my life was taken.”

Matthew and his fellow firefighters were some of the first to respond to the restaurant and hotel fire. David recalls the final message he sent his brother, KHOU reported.

“I can play every minute of that day,” he said. “‘I know you are busy, be safe and text me when you can.’ Of course, I never got a response.”

[RELATED: Southwest Inn fire: The deadliest day in Houston FD history]

Earlier in May, the Wildcat Golf Club welcomed some of Houston’s bravest for a charity golf tournament. It was hosted by the Captain Renaud Foundation, a foundation that was started 10 years ago by David. The foundation raises money to provide financial assistance to firefighters and families in need. In the years since the fire over $200,000 has been raised.

“I hear stories about what he did and what he said,” David said. “I think he would be proud of what we have done.”