"I could not be happier or prouder of the efforts to give him every chance of survival, and we did that last night", said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood. Three other firefighter were injured.
Thursday was the fire department's "worst day", Hood said. Deem was one of the first inside.
Scott Deem, one of almost 100 firefighters called out to the scene, was reportedly trapped inside the Ingram Square shopping complex when part of the blazing structure collapsed.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Deem had been with the department for six years.
Two firefighters went missing during the evacuation, Hood said.
Balloons, flowers and kind words left at the San Antonio Public Safety Headquarters make up a memorial in remembrance of 31-year-old firefighter Scott Deem. The second firefighter, who was part of the rescue team, was taken to University Hospital in Priority 2 condition.
Inside, Scott Deem and other firefighters became lost in the smoke.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement expressing sympathy to the fallen firefighter's family.
"We are blessed to have an outstanding fire department made up of some of the best and bravest men and women in the country". "We will always be in debt to Mr".
Flags will remain at half-staff until interment.
"We had firefighters who fought fire desperately tonight to try to save their friend's life", Hood said while fighting back tears.
"My heart goes out to those firefighters that are out here trying to salvage our businesses, and I pray for them", Emond Johnson said. He leaves behind two children and a wife who is pregnant. "Continue to keep us in your prayers".
We'll bring you more updates on this developing story right here on Spectrum News.