Tulsa firefighter, injured at a house fire last week, gives credit to his fellow firefighters

Tuesday, November 22nd 2005, 9:57 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa firefighter hurt last week in a house fire credits good training and quick action with saving his life.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Joe Carollo has a leg brace, a torn bicep, and a story to tell about how Tulsa firefighters have to be ready for anything. “We’re prepared for these situations."

Carollo responded to a fire at an empty house downtown last week. He was inside spraying water and had the fire almost out, when the floor collapsed beneath him. Joel Jones was right behind him. "I didn't see him fall through, but I heard the commotion, and then he started yelling for help."

Carollo fell into a basement 10 feet down, that was on still on fire. Part of the chimney fell on top of him. Joel Jones: "There's a moment there where you get a knot in your stomach, and you crawl over to the edge of the hole not knowing where it's at and thinking I might go in there too head first, but I've got a guy down there who needs help and he's hollering for you."

When the call came that a firefighter was in trouble, other firefighters were ready to help. They rushed around this corner and tried to get him from here, while other firefighters were inside trying to pull him up. They took in a small ladder to get down to him. Other firefighters pulled in more hose so Carollo could spray water down below. Jones was kneeling over the hole.

Joe Carollo: "He heard my voice and crawled through the hole and put his arm down there and let me know someone was there, I wasn't alone in the house."

In minutes, Carollo had put the fire out underneath; he crawled up that ladder, and was helped outside. He credits everybody at Tulsa Fire Station 4 and his training with helping him survive what could have much worse.

Carollo says his injuries will probably take a couple of months to heal, but says he's ready to get back to work, fighting fires.