Close call for a Tulsa firefighter early Thursday morning

Thursday, November 17th 2005, 5:36 am
By: News On 6

A dangerous house fire that sends a Tulsa firefighter to the hospital.

The firefighter fell through a damaged floor and plunged to the bottom of a basement early Thursday morning.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says it happened near 12th and Elgin, just south of downtown. An older two-story house went up in flames, but as a fire team rushed in, one firefighter crashed through an unstable floor and fell 12 feet.

His teammates tried to pull him out, but they needed the help of a special team, designed specifically to rescue firefighters. Fortunately, a Rapid Intervention Team was standing-by at Thursday morning's fire, just in case.

Fire Captain Larry Bowles says 99 percent of the time, the team prepares for injuries that never happen, but Thursday, they proved invaluable in this dangerous situation. "Well, firefighters are injured all the time during the course of their duty. Structure fires are particularly dangerous, especially when you're talking about an injury that involves a fall of more than 10 feet. It's quite hazardous."

The firefighter suffered a torn bicep, some sprained muscles, and too many cuts and scrapes to count. The injured firefighter was checked out at the hospital and by the city physician.

He should be all right, but the department will keep him off-duty for a couple days.