4 firefighters hurt in fireball explosion at NH home

The firefighters were putting out a blaze when they were knocked down the stairs by a flashover explosion

By FireRescue1 Staff

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Four firefighters were injured by a fireball explosion Sunday while battling a house fire.

The Boston Globe reported that the Boston Fire Department firefighters responded to a house fire and found heavy flames coming from the back of the house, according to Manchester District Chief Al Poulin.

Poulin said four firefighters began to put out the flames from inside the house and were standing near the staircase on the second floor when a powerful flashover explosion engulfed them, knocking them down the stairs.

“One of the doors was opened inside the house and there was massive flashover explosion in which three members were more or less caught in a fireball,” Poulin said.

One of the injured firefighters, Tom Defina, recalled the incident.

“It was that explosion, boom, and it was a giant fireball,” Defina said. “There was a lot of screaming at that point and, ‘Ah, get out. Get out.’ That fireball didn’t go away, I got back up to my knees and the next thing I know, my working partner pulled me out and we all went tumbling down the stairs.”

Capt. Pete Franggos said the firefighters were “out in one minute” from the time he called a mayday.

“We hugged each other, and we were happy to be out,” Defina said. “We swapped air bottles out and went back in to help put the fire out.”

Officials said not only did the firefighters go back into the house to finish the job, but they all showed up for work on Monday.


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