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Thursday, March 15, 2012

San Jose: Firefighter injured battling 4-alarm blaze

 The firefighter fell through a portion of the roof that had been cut opened to fight the blaze.
 A veteran San Jose firefighter became engulfed in flames and suffered burn injuries to both hands, his waist and below his waist while battling a four-alarm blaze at a four-unit townhouse, according to a fire captain.

 The injured firefighter fell halfway through the roof after the edge of the hole collapsed, Van Elgort said. The firefighter, who was wearing safety gear, became engulfed in flames.
The firefighter suffered serious burns to one hand, Van Elgort said.
"He is completely engulfed in fire," Van Elgort said.
San Jose fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said the injured firefighter suffered a serious burn to one hand and burns to his other hand, his waist and below his waist.
 The injured firefighter is being treated at a hospital.
Firefighters say the blaze at a townhouse on Underwood Drive might have turned fatal if not for a Good Samaritan who pulled a woman out of a lower-level unit. San Jose fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort credited a man with saving the life of a woman in the first-floor unit where the fire started.
The neighbor pulled the woman out of her home.
"He probably saved a life by getting her out before she had been overcome by smoke of flame," Van Elgort said.
Seventeen people, including eight children, were displaced by the fire which ripped through the townhouse on Underwood Drive, a street lined with similar residences off Boyton Avenue.
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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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