DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas firefighter David Leos lost his battle with COVID-19.
The Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association shared the news on Thursday, Sept. 2.
Leos is the first active-duty firefighter in Dallas to die from the virus.
Dallas Fire-Rescue shared the following statement on Leos' passing on Thursday afternoon:
Dallas Fire-Rescue is saddened to announce the untimely passing of Driver Engineer, David Leos. David joined the department on August 12, 1981, and served the citizens of Dallas for 40 years before passing after a long and courageous battle with COVID-19.
David leaves behind a wife and eight children along with countless other family members and friends who will miss him dearly. This is a tragic loss for our department; especially for his brother, Lieutenant Marty Leos, and son, Lieutenant David Leos, Jr., who have followed admirably in their brother/father's footsteps. We ask that you keep David's family, and the department, in your thoughts and prayers and we lean on one another for support during this most challenging time.
On Wednesday, Dallas Fire-Rescue crews were parked outside Parkland Hospital all day to show support for the veteran firefighter and had been on a ventilator in the ICU.
Driver Engineer Leos' family and friends say his condition had been critical and they said their goodbyes.
Leos came from a family of firefighters, so for him the decision to become one was easy.
"David just celebrated his 40th anniversary with the Dallas Fire Department which is amazing," Cristian Hinojosa said.
Hinojosa has worked by his side for almost 20 of those years.
"I really got to know David well when he was battling leukemia and David overcame leukemia," he said. "He showed us that he could fight you know and I think it just speaks to the seriousness of this illness."
Two months ago, Leos contracted COVID-19. It's something so many firefighters have come in contact with.
"We've had 650 firefighters out 2,000 test positive for COVID in the last 18 months," Hinojosa said.
Leos was not vaccinated against COVID-19, but recently said on social media he encouraged everyone who was able to get the vaccine to do so.
"It's tough to see the ones who are the caretakers be so vulnerable," Hinojosa said.
Leos' Fire Station 41, as well as firefighters from other stations came together for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night.
Leos' immediate family was in attendance, but they did not want to speak publicly. His sister in law sharing a few words.
"It's going to be a big loss for us," Jeane Leos said at the time. "It's hard to describe."
She said they find peace knowing he had a strong faith.
"I think that we wouldn't be able to be where we're at right now without knowing that," Jeane said. "We get that also from his wife so it's very very comforting."
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