Fresno Firefighter Suffers Critical Burn Injuries After Falling Through Roof While Fighting Garage Fire

Fresno firefighters responded about 1:23 p.m. Sunday to a garage fire on Cortland Avenue and Del Mar Avenue. A firefighter assigned to the roof fell through the roof about 1:35 p.m. In a video by Sooji Lee, who was recording the fire scene, the firefighter is seen climbing a ground ladder ahead of another firefighter. Conditions above the roof involve heavy smoke and poor visibility.

The lead firefighter strikes the roof hard once with a long tool, then the firefighter falls “feet first” about two feet away from the distance of the tool impact. It appears the firefighter had been testing the sturdiness of the roof with the tool before he fell completely through the roof.

The opening where the firefighter fell immediately vents the roof and heavy fire erupts through the opening.

About eight firefighters then rush to use axes to pound the garage door open. No circular saw appears to have been used to open the garage door before or after the rescue of the firefighter.

The firefighter is removed from the garage to the driveway where he is cooled with water, and medical treatment is begun

The firefighter underwent surgery at Community Regional Medical Center on Sunday and was transferred to the burn unit.

The firefighter is a captain (identity withheld) and was listed in critical condition with third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body. Including all burns from first to third degree levels, 60-70 percent of his body was reported burned.

VIDEO: After climbing a ground ladder and poking a pike pole into the roof of a burning garage, a Fresno firefighter falls through the roof.

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