2 Iowa FFs seriously injured after 'catastrophic failure' of hoseline

The Cedar Rapids firefighters sustained blunt force trauma and one was knocked unconscious, officials said


By Laura French

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Two Iowa firefighters were seriously injured after a hose line failure at an apartment complex fire on Sunday. 

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department said in a statement that firefighters had entered an apartment unit and started knocking down the fire but suddenly lost water pressure and backed out of the structure to obtain a different hose line. At about the same time, an apparent "catastrophic failure" of the hose line caused two firefighters to be struck, one in the head and another in the chest. 

Officials said both firefighters sustained injuries from blunt force trauma, and that the firefighter who was struck in the head was rendered unconscious from the impact. The injuries were considered to be serious but not life-threatening, and both firefighters were discharged from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, officials said. 

"Both firefighters sustained fractures and will need to have some time to recover," the Cedar Rapids Fire Department said in a Facebook post Sunday afternoon. 

Fire officials wrote that the firefighters' gear, including their helmets, protected them from sustaining more severe injuries in the incident. Firefighters faced additional difficult conditions while fighting the blaze, including extremely cold temperatures, frozen and snow-covered hydrants, frozen valves, nozzles and hose lines and dangerous wind chill conditions. 

The fire destroyed the two-story apartment complex and multiple families were displaced. The Eastern Iowa Red Cross, Cedar Rapids Office is providing assistance to the displaced residents. 

 

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