Trending Topics

Tenn. FF falls through roof, chief writes emotional post after responding to mayday call

The fire chief said he went against his training and abandoned his command position to search for the firefighter


By Laura French

DAYTON, Tenn. — A Tennessee fire chief wrote an emotional Facebook post after a firefighter was injured falling through the roof of a burning building.

Dayton Fire-Rescue was responding to a fire at a manufacturing company building when the firefighter fell through the roof, hitting the concrete floor, according to the post written by Dayton Fire Chief Charles L. Suttles. When the mayday call came in, Suttles says he “broke a cardinal rule” in a moment of panic.

"(I) abandoned my command position and ran in to the building to find my injured and missing child,” Suttles wrote. “That’s right, my missing child. I say that so you can imagine my feelings. Although we have had training and retraining on such an incident, I have never heard or experienced the MAYDAY call that affected me personally. No one can imagine my agony.”

Suttles wrote that he apologizes to the firefighter and his family after having sent the firefighter to the roof to perform a task, and said, “I would have done it myself had I known.”

The firefighter sustained injuries to his head and hip and was briefly hospitalized, but has returned home and is expected to go back to work in three days, according to Firefighter Close Calls.