Even after he battled the deadly five-alarm blaze that killed four of his fellow Houston firefighters and took his legs after a roof collapsed, Capt. Bill Dowling is still fighting.
One of the lucky ones that fateful afternoon in May, Dowling is the focus of a fundraiser this weekend organized by the Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association.
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Dowling was one of 14 firefighters with the Houston Fire Department injured in that hotel fire, one of the worst in recent memory, with severe injuries. "He spent six months in the hospital with severe burns, brain injury, and had to have both legs amputated," Pete Martins, the fundraiser's organizer said.
Martins, who works with the Cy-Fair volunteer firefighter, doesn't know Dowling, but after learning his story said he wanted to use his connection with the CMRA to help him out. "I think all firefighters have a sense of brotherhood where they want to help each other, and we wanted to do something to help him and his family."
A police escort will lead the Dowling Ride to the race grounds on Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. Riders should gather at the Bass Pro Shops on Highway 288 South, or head straight to Motorsports Ranch in Angleton if you don't ride.
Tickets are being sold through the event's website as well as participating motorcycle dealers.