Tulsa Firefighters Recovering After Barnard School Fire, Explosions

Tuesday, September 11th 2012, 11:26 am
By: Dee Duren

Two Tulsa firefighters remain hospitalized Tuesday with injuries they received fighting the Barnard Elementary fire last Wednesday.

They and six other firefighters were hurt when a series of explosions brought burning debris down upon them.

All eight firefighters are still undergoing treatment for their injuries, according to Tulsa Fire Public Information Officer Stan May. Officials say they sustained burns on their ears, cheeks, legs, hands and backs.

May did not have an estimate for their return to duty, but said it will probably be several weeks for the two who remain hospitalized.

"We're waiting for the doctors to give us a full plan of treatment on everybody before we decide that," he said.

News On 6 spoke to Captain Alec Ridener who was leading a group of four firefighters into the building that morning when the explosions began. He suffered second degree burns to his side and knees, and a burn to his cheek.

9/7/2012 Related Story: ATF Begins Investigation Into School Explosion That Injured Firefighters

His thoughts were with his fellow firefighters that remain in the hospital.

"They got a long road ahead of them. They got pretty severe burns on their arms and they got a long road ahead of them, but I know they definitely got a lot of prayers and support," Ridener said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is in Tulsa investigating the cause of the fire and explosions. They are expected to wrap on their on-site investigation Tuesday afternoon then remain in town a few additional days to sort through evidence and begin their reports, May said.

"Hopefully at that point they'll be able to give us a definite place of origin and cause, but we don't expect that to happen till Thursday or Friday," he said.

The school site will remain under lockdown until agents are certain they have everything they need, May said.

A team of 29 ATF agents were at the scene including fire investigators, chemists and electrical engineers.