Tunnel to Towers pays off mortgage on home of slain Houston fire investigator

Mortgage payoff is part of Foundation’s second annual Season of Hope

Houston Fire Department Arson Investigator Lemuel ‘DJ” Bruce, 44, was shot and killed on October 16, 2020, while conducting surveillance into a number of arson fires set in the city. He leaves behind his wife and two children.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced today that it has paid off the mortgage on the Montgomery, Texas, family home of slain Houston Fire Department Arson Investigator Lemuel ‘DJ” Bruce in full, through its Fallen First Responder Home Program.

Investigator Bruce, 44, was shot and killed on October 16, 2020, while conducting surveillance into a number of arson fires set in the city.

Hewas a 17-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department and served five years with the arson team. He was the first fire investigator to be shot and killed in the line of duty.

Prior to joining the Houston Fire Department, Bruce served his country for five years in the Marine Corps. He also served in the Army National Guard.

He is survived by his wife Rachel, daughter Sydney, and son Greyson.

This is the third home in the Tunnel to Towers’ second annual Season of Hope, during which it will deliver 36 mortgage-free homes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“I’m beyond grateful and feel very blessed and know DJ is smiling down, knowing we’re being taken care of. He designed and helped build our quaint home. He’d always wanted this as it’s his dream home with some land. He would be so grateful as well, to know we don’t have to leave,” Rachel said.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Fallen First Responder Home Program, created in 2015, pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty who leave behind young children. The Foundation’s goal is to ensure stability and security to families facing sudden tragic loss.

“For over twenty years, Investigator Bruce lived his life in service of others. He served his community through the Houston Fire Department, and before that, he served his country in the Marine Corps. It is our honor, and our duty, to take care of those who take care of us, and to take care of their families when they don’t come home,” said Foundation Chairman and CEO Frank Siller.

You can help Tunnel to Towers provide mortgage-free homes to the families of fallen first responders, injured veterans, and Gold Star families by donating $11 per month at tunnel2towers.org.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s mission is to honor the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. To date, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has spent over $250 million to honor and support our first responders and veterans and their families.

For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, please visit tunnel2towers.org

Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @Tunnel2Towers.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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