Two Longview firefighters injured battling early morning blaze
From Staff Reports
Oct. 9, 2012 at 3:40 a.m.
Two Longview firefighters were injured in an early morning blaze when falling debris knocked off the face piece of a captain's mask.
The Longview Fire Department responded at about 4:45 a.m. to a duplex fire in the 300 block of Blake Drive, according to Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary.
An experienced captain, whose name was not released but has more than 20 years of service with the Longview Fire Department, received first and second degree burns when his face and lungs became exposed to flame and intense heat.
"At the ceiling level, it could be 800 or 900 degrees easily," Zackary said.
Zackary said a second fire fighter was injured as they worked with the captain to help him find his way out of the duplex.
The captain immediately got low to the ground away from the most intense heat.
"We are fortunate that the training kicked in, and they were able to get out of there before they were more seriously injured," Zackary said.
Both firefighters were taken to Longview Regional Medical Center.
They have already been released from the hospital, but will undergo follow-up examinations.
Zackary said it was a scary situation and a reminder of what firefighters risk every day.
"We don't need to take for granted that our firefighters risk their lives on a continual basis in order to preserve life and property," Zackary said.
The duplex was completely lost by the fire.
Zackary said a homeowner noticed the fire at about 2:45 a.m. and thought he had extinguished it.
The fire was more dangerous because it had hours to grow before the Longview Fire Department was notified, Zackary said.
There were nine residents in the two sides of the duplex at the time.
No one else was injured.