Anytime a firefighter jumps into action, there is the risk of physical harm or injury. The very nature of the job requires a firefighter to put his or her life at risk to protect the community. One serious fire in California led to a severe work injury for one firefighter as a roof collapsed, trapping him inside a structure that was ablaze.
The incident happened on a Sunday afternoon as firefighters were called to battle a blaze at a home in Fresno. There were a total of 31 people who responded to the call. Following what is described as standard operating procedure, the firefighter was on the roof. The roof collapsed, and the firefighter fell into the blazing garage.
He was inside for several minutes as his fellow firefighters tried to reach him. Upon being taken out of the garage, he was stripped of his clothes and doused with water. He was then rushed to the hospital with burns over approximately 60 to 70 percent of his body.
The firefighter involved in this California tragedy was a department veteran who had reportedly been on the job for 25 years. When a work injury involves such severe burns, recovery is likely to be difficult, and treatment is likely to be extremely expensive. In a case in which a worker suffers a serious injury on the job that results in a significant amount of time away from work, workers’ compensation benefits may be the difference between financial stability and financial ruin for that worker and his or her family.
Source: New York Daily News, “California firefighter falls through garage roof at burning Fresno home“, Tobias Salinger, March 29, 2015