Fla. firefighter suffers serious burns in house fire during rescue attempt

Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers said firefighters were initially told someone was still inside the home


Dan Scanlan
The Florida Times-Union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville firefighter suffered serious burns on a wrist, his arms and head as he and others battled a fire in the back of a home on Restlawn Drive, just a few blocks north of Raines High School and Moncrief Road.

"They were informed that there was somebody still inside, so they went in to attempt to make a rescue," Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers said. "While they were attempting that rescue and extinguishing that fire, the firefighter sustained some burns."

A Jacksonville firefighter suffered serious burns during an attempted rescue after firefighters were told there was someone still inside a burning home.
A Jacksonville firefighter suffered serious burns during an attempted rescue after firefighters were told there was someone still inside a burning home. (Photo/Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union)

No one was inside the home, although the American Red Cross is helping two people displaced by the damage, the fire department said.

While the unidentified firefighter was fully covered, the extreme heat caused the water they were spraying in it to turn into superheated steam, fire officials said.

"The wrist area of our bunker gear is one of the thinnest areas for dexterity reasons," Powers said. "A lot of times when water gets on a fire, it turns to steam and that is able to get through the porous areas of our bunker gear and cause those burns."

Powers said the firefighter also had some serious burns on his arms, as well as ears, shoulder and neck. Due to concerns that the burns could cause wrist mobility issues, he was taken to Gainesville's UF Shands burn unit and is expected to make a full recovery, Powers said.

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(c)2021 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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