Texas FFs recovering from injuries in fire engine crash
The Fort Worth Fire Department provided updates on social media about the condition of four firefighters injured in a rollover
By James Hartley
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas — More than 24 hours after a Fort Worth fire truck crashed while responding to a house fire, two of the four injured firefighters are still in the hospital, with one scheduled for surgery Wednesday, according to an update from the fire department posted on social media.
The other hospitalized firefighter, who had the worst injuries, is still in critical condition but is now officially breathing on his own and showing other signs of improvement, according to the fire department. The names of the injured firefighters haven’t been released.
“As the conditions of our firefighters change, we will keep everyone updated,” the fire department’s post said. “We are grateful to be part of a community that cares deeply about their firefighters. Your compassion and support have not gone unnoticed. We feel the prayers and we appreciate each and every one of them.”
The accident took place shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Wilbarger Street and Village Creek Road, in southeast Fort Worth, while the crew on Engine 3 was driving to the scene of a house fire, fire department officials said in a news release. The fire, in the 4500 block of Pecos Street, displaced several residents and left one woman with breathing problems.
The owner of the home, Nena Pounds, told the Star-Telegram on Tuesday that she had an asthma attack and had to get assistance with breathing after going back into the house to rescue her daughter’s puppy. The Red Cross was assisting Pounds and her family with temporary housing after the fire.
Pounds said she has lived in the house for 16 years with no problems prior to Tuesday’s fire. Having recently had a heart attack and stroke, she only started back at work Monday.
Now, Pounds says she can’t go to work because of breathing problems from smoke inhalation.
Pounds woke up Tuesday morning and started going about her regular morning routine. When she realized the electricity was out, she opened the door to the garage to check the breaker box.
“It hit me right in the face, this thick, black smoke,” Pounds told the Star-Telegram.
The fire department believes the fire engine crash was a single-vehicle incident, Fire Chief Jim Davis said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference. While investigators are still not sure what caused the truck to roll over, he said there is no indication it was caused by a vehicle pulling out in front of the fire engine or failing to yield.
“Our foremost priority is supporting the well-being of our firefighters and their families in this difficult moment,” Davis said. “We appreciate the support and prayers of the Fort Worth community as we stand by the injured and their families.”
Fort Worth police detectives are running the investigation into how the accident happened, Police Chief Neil Noakes said at the Tuesday afternoon news conference. Traffic investigators are conducting interviews and looking for witnesses and planned to speak with the injured firefighters when possible.