Tulsa Police Officer Nearly Burned Trying To Pull Trucker From Fire
By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Police officers work everyday to arrest criminals and react to emergency situations.
One officer this week came up on a semi-truck that was a blazing inferno.
A mattress caught on fire under the semi on Tuesday after the semi ran over it and it got stuck there.
While the fire was raging, it was quite a scene. Sergeant Kurt Dodd rolled up on it as the driver pulled over and jumped out of his rig.
"This fire is going. It's right near the diesel tanks on the vehicle, under the wheels of the truck, it's stuck and it's roaring underneath," said Sgt. Kurt Dodd, Tulsa Fire Department.
Dodd said the driver tried to put out the flames with a jacket, but Dodd forced him back and used a fire extinguisher, but that did no good. So the driver tried to pull the mattress free and Dodd again forced him back because the man's face and arms were getting badly burned.
"I really at the time, did not understand why he kept pulling the mattress. Ultimately, later, think he was in shock. He had severe injuries from the fire, very volatile, very scary," Sgt. Dodd said.
Dodd was sent to the hospital after breathing in the fumes and having an elevated blood pressure.
He says that type of stress is expected on the job, unlike what's been happening on the department lately.
"With the pending layoffs and all that's going on, it's a very stressful time. No matter what we face on the streets, it's not as stressful as thinking you might lose your job and it's outside your control," Sgt. Dodd said.
The trucker was hauling 400 50-pound bags of sodium sulfate, which is harmless until it gets wet and then creates a corrosive gas and liquid.
The trucker had first and second degree burns to his face and hands.