Houston firefighter stabbed in the eye at fire scene

Fire Capt. Kenneth Willingham attempted to drag an unresponsive man from a burning structure when he was attacked

By FireRescue1 Staff

HOUSTON — A firefighter suffered serious injuries to his eye after he was stabbed by a patient while responding to a fire call Friday. 

Houston Fire Capt. Kenneth Willingham was responding to a structure fire when he attempted to rescue an unresponsive man. The man became combative and stabbed Capt. Willingham in the eye with a pocket knife, reported KHOU.

It took firefighters around 30 minutes to evacuate the man from the building. 

Capt. Willingham underwent surgery Saturday and was released from the hospital to begin his recovery at home, the Houston fire union stated. 

"Our brothers and sisters, who were with Kenneth and his family at the hospital yesterday and today, will continue to assist them with the formalities of his recovery — with worker's comp issues, hotel accommodations in the Medical Center for family members, etc.," the statement read.

The unresponsive man was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Authorities charged him with first-degree aggravated assault on a public servant.

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