John Lampl, age 39, of Houston was southbound on Interstate 45 with his wife Debbie approximately 4:30pm Thursday near FM 1374. According to DPS Trooper Hernandez he was driving his 2009 Nissan Titan and following a Ford F-250 driven by Jimmy Morganti of Richards, Texas. As they approached FM1374 Lampl attempted to pass on the on the left shoulder, over corrected and struck the Ford F-250 causing both to flip. Lampl’s vehicle then slid striking the FM 1374 bridge support column with the roof. Lampl was pronounced dead on the scene. His wife was trapped but uninjured. DPS stated he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Lampl a former Woodlands Firefighter was a firefighter with Ponderosa Fire Department in the FM 1960 West area of Harris County. John was a dedicated firefighter who is credited with saving at least two lives in fires. Approximately one year ago in the Woodlands he rescued a woman from a burning home and then six months later did the same in Ponderosa.
FROM THE PONDEROSA FIRE DEPARTMENT NEWSLETTER
At the Ponderosa Fire Department, we consider
all of our firefighters to be heroes, but from time to time,
we see shining examples of their bravery in the face of
danger. Recently, two of PFD’s finest were awarded our
Medal of Valor for their heroic acts…
John Lampl (Acting District Chief; Station 1)
On the evening of July 2, 2008, PFD was automatically
dispatched to a reported apartment fire on
Cypresswood Drive in the Klein Fire District. Upon arrival,
John Lampl was informed by residents that a man
was trapped in the back corner bedroom of his apartment.
“As I was heading back to the rear of the building
to assist with the Incident Commander (IC), people started
yelling that there was a person in one of the back apartments,”
Lampl explained. “There was black smoke coming
out low of the window, so I knew we didn’t have much
time. I broke out the glass, took a deep breath and hoped
for the best.”
Lampl then entered the building, moved a night
stand out of the way, and found
the man lying down about 35
“I got down on the bed,
gave the guy a bear hug and
pulled him to the window,” said
Lampl. “The room was hot and
the fire had made it to the door.
It all happened so fast. I told the
people outside to find towels so
we could cover the glass from the
window and pull him out safely.”
Once pulled to safety,
Lampl immediately began to provide the man with necessary
medical attention. He was soon assisted by Andy
Dexter, a Paramedic with the Klein Fire Department, the
patient was stabilized and transported to Houston Northwest
Medical Center in stable condition.
A few months prior to this event, Lampl also
rescued a fire victim at his full-time job with The Woodlands
Fire Department. It’s this type of quick action by
dedicated firefighters like Lampl that saves lives, and although
he labels his response “what anyone else would
do”, the friends and family of the victims saved would
call it something else entirely…they would call it heroic.