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Bee swarm kills one, injures another near Breckenridge

One person in the home was stung and went into cardiac arrest, according to the Breckenridge fire chief.
Credit: Breckenridge Fire Department

BRECKENRIDGE, Texas — One person died Monday after being stung by bees near Breckenridge.

According to the Breckenridge Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched to a bee attack Monday afternoon on Water District Road 214.

Stephens County Sheriff's Office deputies and AMR were dispatched immediately and all arrived on scene together.

"We were met with very aggressive bee activity," BFD Fire Chief Calvin Chaney said in a Facebook post.

AMR told firefighters one person had been severely stung and went into cardiac arrest as relayed from dispatch. Medics and firefighters entered home through a swarm of bees and started emergency care of the patient who had suffered a heart episode.

One of the firefighters in the house removed their protective gear and dressed the woman with the gear and another firefighter took her outside to the fire chief’s truck, according to Chaney.

She was removed from scene to a sheriff’s deputy and from there, to a friend's home where her injuries could be assessed in a bee-free environment. An ambulance was dispatched to the friend's home.

"AMR did everything they could to make this a positive outcome but multiple issues turned this into a tragedy with one person not surviving the attack," the post said.

A second person who was removed from the scene was transported to hospital for treatment.

When all patients were removed from the scene, deputies and firefighters went door-to-door and advised people not to use outside noise-making equipment until the bees could hive back up and calm down.

Local beekeeper Joey Venekamp contacted Chaney and offered his specialized equipment to help the BFD find the hive and remediate it. The hive was found and BFD firefighter, Chad Skiles, and Venekamp were successful in removing the hive with hand tools and foam.

Venekamp said the tree the bees had taken up residence in looked like it had been dead for some time and the colony had gotten large. Venekamp noticed a lawnmower near the hive that the property owner may have been using and could have made the bees defensive.

"Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers during this traumatic and sad day. First responders were faced with the daunting task of patient care and treatment during the attack and remained professional through the event. Prayers again for this family," the post said.

This is a developing story. More information will be posted as it becomes available from the Breckenridge Fire Department.