Reporting Bud Gillett
IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) - Two Irving firefighters were hurt tonight after lightening apparently started a fire at the Eagle Crest Apartments at 3810 Esters Road. While no residents are reported hurt, many heard the crack of a lightning bolt they believed triggered the blaze. “Man, just like a loud ‘boom!’ ‘BOOM!’ It was terrible, man,” Cordaro Henson said. His friend Elijah Mann echoed, “And the next thing you know we hear this loud ‘boom’ it literally sounded like a bomb went off.” Valencia Rainey was shaken awake from a nap. “It was terrifying. It was the loudest sound I’d ever heard in my life,” she said adding, “Lo and behold I see a fire that looks vicious, out of control. It was really bad.”
Flames broke out just before 6 p.m. Within minutes the entire roof of the 24 unit structure was gone. Henson and Mann, who were in the process of moving, tried to help.
“After lightning struck the building it was just smoke. Me and a buddy started running and knocking on doors and let people know there was a fire,” Henson told CBS 11 News.
Mann witnessed one of the firefighters collapse after falling from a second floor landing. “It was like he was choking or something, he came out, collapsed on the ground, took his helmet off, then they picked him up, tended to him and took him off in an ambulance.”
But that fireman’s injury wasn’t the only one, according to Assistant Irving Fire Chief Rusty Wilson. “The report is that one was injured in a fall at the location, a second one was transported because of burns.” Wilson says he doesn’t know how the second fireman was burned. Both men went to Parkland, the extent of their injuries unknown. It took 41 firefighters roughly an hour to bring it under control.
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