HOUSTON - Edward "Coots" Matthews, a famed oil well firefighter who was part of a trio who inspired the 1968 movie "Hellfighters," has died. Matthews was 86.

Boots & Coots, the Houston-based company Matthews co-founded in 1978, confirmed that Matthews died on Wednesday.

Matthews began his career in Halliburton in 1947 after serving as a U.S. Air Force tail gunner in World War II.

Matthews and Asger "Boots" Hansen founded their company after fighting some of the oil industry's most notorious fires, including the "Devil's Cigarette Lighter" in Algeria in 1961. After Iraq's 1991 invasion of Kuwait, Matthews traveled to the Persian Gulf to help extinguish some 700 fires in Kuwaiti oil fields.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Well done your example will live on ,you will never be forgotten.
Red and Coots together again!

Rest easy friend.
now that is another American hero that his legend will live on
RIP, you will not be forgotten

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