Gutierrez affected by South Carolina fire

By Steve Wright

GROVE, Okla. — Greg Gutierrez was practicing for the Bassmaster Elite Series Sooner Run on Grand Lake earlier this week when his cell phone rang.”My battalion chief called,” said the 45-year-old pro angler and fire captain from Red Bluff, Calif. “He asked if I’d been watching the news. I said, no, I haven’t seen anything. He said we’d just lost nine men in South Carolina.”I just sat down in the boat. It really takes the wind out of your sails.”If you didn’t already know it, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 helped you understand the nationwide brotherhood that exists between firefighters. The Charleston, S.C., furniture storage facility fire was the single largest loss of firefighters since that date in 2001.

Not only did Gutierrez feel the loss of nine men who shared a common profession, he thought about his 18-year-old son, Greg Jr., who just finished his first week as a fireman in California.And one more recent event made the moment even more emotional. Gutierrez recently appeared in his local newspaper, in a photograph, helping extinguish a fire. Read More >