16-year-old firefighter severely burned at 1st fire

Volunteer firefighter Adam Glaze remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery and skin grafts


MARSHALL, Va. — A 16-year-old volunteer firefighter underwent seven hours of surgery and skin grafts Wednesday to treat burns suffered Sunday morning.

Fauquier Now reported that firefighter Adam Glaze remains in the hospital, where both career and volunteer firefighters have gathered to offer support.

Firefighter Glaze suffered the most severe burns, along with three other firefighters injured as they attacked a house fire.

Two firefighters — one career and the other volunteer — also received treatment at a hospital for burns to their bodies. Another was later driven to the hospital for burns to his ears.

The house fire was firefighter Glaze’s first fire. He headed upstairs with a hose, with a career firefighter closely behind him.

Command of the scene and communication among units has come into question, according to the report.

The county fire department has launched an investigation of the circumstances that led to the injuries.

The local firefighters' union — representing 56 career staff members — issued a letter that calls on the county board of supervisors to fund more paid positions, according to the report. The union also wants a "unified rank structure" that would clarify authority at every incident.

Charles Glaze, the badly injured volunteer's father, works as a career firefighter in Washington, D.C. He praised the training his son has received.

But, a county ordinance that allows minors to enter burning structures will undergo review, Chief Tom Billington said.

"It's an issue for me," he said. "Is it a good idea? I don't know."

The Code of Virginia says: "Minors 16 and 17 years of age shall not enter a burning structure."

But, the code provides exceptions for local governments that adopt ordinances allowing minors — with proper training — to fight fires, according to the report.

"If anyone wants to address policies, that's a separate issue, but the training provided by the county high school program to certify my son as a firefighter provided him the ability to survive a situation that could have been fatal," Glaze said. "The extremely qualified instructors ensured my son's survival."
 

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