Murdered Fire Chief Played Key Role In Murrah Bombing Rescue

Wednesday, September 21st 2011, 10:29 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Chief Keith Bryan, who was killed in his home Wednesday, worked for the Nichols Hills Fire Department for more than three decades.

He was also one of the heroes of the Oklahoma City bombing and played a critical role in one of the big rescues of that day.

Chief Bryan was one of the first of the Nichols Hills firefighters to respond to the Murrah Federal building.

Once here he started looking for survivors in the Social Security wing. In a basement garage, Bryan and two other Nichols Hills firefighters discovered three people trapped in the rubble.

One of them was Daina Bradley.

"My mom was approximately 10 feet from me, my daughter was only five feet from me. They were alive before the rest of the building pancaked on them," said Bradley in an interview with CBS years later.

A second bomb scare would force everyone to leave the building and Bryan to leave Bradley.

Afterward Bryan told a reporter it was one of the hardest things he's ever done. When he was allowed back in the building he went back to Daina's side and would stay there until doctors could free her.

"They had to cut my leg off to get me out," said Bradley. "And I said just do anything just get me out of here."

Bryan later said he was glad he and his men were able to be a part of a rare rescue. Those who worked with him that day say it's no surprise.

"Keith was one of those individuals who always gave 100% on everything and you could count on him and he was steady as a rock," said former Oklahoma City Fire Chief Gary Marrs.