Husband of Austin HS orchestra director dies after October fuel tank fire

The husband of Austin High School's orchestra director has passed away from injuries he sustained during a flash fire at an October concert.

Sam Herrera was injured in an accidental flash fire at the school orchestra's Monster Concert, a community event and fundraiser. Herrera's death was announced through an update on a GoFundMe organized for the impacted families.

"Sam was a true giant in our community. For many of us, he defined what it means to live your life in service of others," the update reads.

Sam Herrera and his wife Ana Maria Solis-Herrera (Austin High School Orchestra Booster Club)


Herrera was one of three people injured in the fire, including another family member of his wife, Ana Maria Solis-Herrera, and an orchestra parent. 

The Austin Fire Department says there was a gasoline tank on a generator that was being refueled about 10 feet from a propane grill and a charcoal grill.

The Austin High School Orchestra Booster Club shared a note about Herrera's passing on their website:

Dear AHS Orchestra students, families, alum, and supporters,

With deep sadness, we’re sharing the heartbreaking news that the Solís-Herrera family said goodbye to Sam, their beloved husband and father, on November 8. Sam was such a generous and devoted supporter of the AHS Orchestra program—building haunted houses, painting practice rooms, cooking and planning and so much more, but most of all giving his time and positivity to the kids.

The support and love you have shown the family over the past few weeks has given them strength that they’ll need in the coming days. Please continue to hold them in your hearts and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

We will share more information about services and other opportunities to show your love and appreciation for Sam and his family when we can, but in the meantime, please consider donating to the GoFundMe campaign or recording a short message for the Solis-Herrera family.