DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Four Dallas firefighters were injured Wednesday morning, after a roof collapsed at a burning home. The rescuers were taken to Parkland Hospital for treatment and are expected to be okay.
The fire broke out at a vacant home on the 4000 block of Fernwood in Oak Cliff, just before 12:30 a.m.
When crews got to the scene they saw a small fire coming from the back of the roof and immediately started attacking the blaze.
While on top of the house, part of the roof collapsed underneath one firefighter and he fell right near another group of firefighters.
Neighbor George Levels was watching firefighters fight the fire. “They all rushed in to put the fire out. Next thing I know, I see one of the firefighters come rolling out the door. They all went tending to him,” he recalled. “They put him on the stretcher and rushed him to the ambulance, put the breathing machine on him and they rushed off.”
The firefighter on the roof was taken to Parkland Hospital and is being treated for facial burns and smoke inhalation, but is in stable condition.
Three firefighters were injured when flaming debris fell on top of them. Two suffered minor burns and one was treated for smoke inhalation.
“There’s no such thing as a routine fire. Every fire is going to be different,” explained Captain Randy Sanders with Dallas Fire Rescue. “You never know exactly what you’re going to find when you attack a fire like this. That’s why it makes this type of work so dangerous.”
Two firefighters have been treated and released. Two other rescuers, including the one who fell through the roof, have been admitted for observation.
The burned house was vacant and that fact has fire investigators working to try and determine if the fire was intentionally set. In fact, when firefighters first arrived some may have thought it was a rescue. “There was some indication there was someone in there,” said Sanders. “I’m sure [if] that’s part of the reason they tried to go in, get inside the building.”
The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined.