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NJ firefighter burned in flashover recovering at home

Atlantic City firefighter Frank Walsh said he is “feeling very lucky” after receiving first- and second-degree burns while battling a blaze

By FireRescue1 Staff

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A firefighter who was burned in a flashover while battling a blaze Monday is recovering at home.

The Press of Atlantic City reported that 11-year fire veteran Frank Walsh suffered first- and second- degree burns on his arms while controlling the nozzle in a vacant building fire.

“All things considered, I’m feeling very lucky,” Walsh said after being released Tuesday from the Jefferson Hospital Burn Unit in Philadelphia.

“I entered the house and went into the first room. I walked about four or five feet into the house and found the whole room was engulfed in flames,” Walsh recalled. “I saw that the whole room was on fire, I got down onto the ground, but the fire started to roll across the ceiling and rolled over top of me.”

Fire Chief Scott Evans said the incident was a “close call, no doubt,” and added that the flames were so intense that they damaged Walsh’s breathing apparatus.

“Fabric melted, and there was damage to some hose. Some of the face piece cracked on his mask,” Chief Evans said. “Even though firefighters take every safety precaution and use all our protective gear, this is still a very dangerous job.”

“As it was happening, the adrenaline is going,” Walsh said. “I didn’t realize until a bit later — there’s so much going on and I’m just trying to think about getting the fire put out.”

Walsh added that the help of his colleagues after the incident was overwhelming.

“After they cleaned up the whole mess from the fire, about 20 guys came right to the hospital in Atlantic City to see me,” Walsh said. “My wife’s phone has been ringing nonstop with people offering to help out. It really is a brotherhood and it’s great to work with people like that.”