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Dallas FF blown off ladder, impaled by fence during rescue

The firefighter was working to help a woman from a balcony when a flash fire ignited and blew him back, causing him to fall and impale his leg on a spiked fence


Photo/Irwin Thompson, The Dallas Morning News

By Rachel Engel

DALLAS — A firefighter was injured while rescuing a woman from a balcony during an apartment fire on Tuesday morning.

Members of Dallas Fire Rescue were called to the scene of an apartment fire, WFAA reported. As the flames intensified in the ground floor apartment, one firefighter climbed a ladder to the second story to rescue a woman from her balcony when a flash fire ignited and blew him backwards.

“They were completely consumed,” said Sarah Thornton, the owner of the apartment with the initial fire. “The firefighter had to be in flames for at least 30 seconds trying to get the person out. They were trying to get the person out and couldn’t. It was tough. The flames came out of the apartments and consumed the firefighter and the tenant.”

The firefighter fell and was impaled by a spiked fence, causing a gash in his leg. Witnesses on the ground say the firefighter was bleeding after his fall. He was transported to the hospital with second-degree burns on his hands, and required head staples, but is expected to be OK.

According to WFAA, the woman who was rescued sustained burns on 20% of her body but is expected to survive.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Thornton said of the rescue. “His courage. So thankful they were here. He risked his life. He truly risked his life trying to save this person.”