3 firefighters injured escaping flashover

One of the firefighters was seriously burned, another broke his vertebra, the third suffered minor burns

LANCASTER, Pa. — Three Lancaster, Pa. firefighters were injured early Monday morning as they tried to rescue a woman and a six-year-old girl from a two-story home. The structure flashed with the firefighters inside.

FirefightersCloseCalls.com reports that Lt. Andre Kelly suffered second- and third-degree burns to 20 percent to 25 percent of his body. He is in critical, but stable condition. Firefighter Thomas Bender suffered first- and second-degree burns to his hands and a laceration to his shoulder after bailing out a second-story window. He was treated and released. Firefighter Craig Roberson fractured his vertebra bailing out of the structure.

Firefighters had difficulty getting water from a nearby hydrant. The woman and the child died in the fire.

"When they first got up and started searching they found a family pet a dog, and things were happening so quickly, I believe they thought it was a child," Lancaster Fire Chief Tim Gregg told WPMT. "The firefighters that were up there are taking it very tough."

The station reports that a psychologist has been brought in to talk to the firefighters and that the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Family members of the two who died thanked firefighters for their heroic efforts.

"I just wanted to say thank you for risking your life to go in there and try to get my cousin and her niece," Diana Marin told WPMT. "We appreciate it. They went in there anyway. They risked their life and to me they did the ultimate sacrifice, going in there to protect and get everyone out safely and we really appreciate that."

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