Make sure you listen to this story from two Minneapolis firefighters who fell into the basement of a burning vacant home on November 30. Firefighters were in the process of extinguishing the fire and trying to rescue a man who had broken into the home and set a fire to keep warm. Despite firefighters' efforts, the man did not survive. Firefighter Darick Rhodes and Captain John Chelstrom suffered burns and bruises in the close call where the captain ended up on top of the firefighter on the basement floor.
The burning floor had given way. Rhodes and Chelstrom fell through with fire and smoke closing in.
"It's just like being blindfolded and then being pushed off a ledge," says Chelstrom.
"I jumped up immediately. I turned the nozzle on. I hit Chelstrom the face and I just started spraying away," says Rhodes. "It wasn't going to get us in the basement. If there was a fire in the basement it would have been different. You wouldn't be interviewing me right now."
Both firefighters suffered burns and bruises, which is pretty good, all things considered.
"Could have been worse. Luckily it wasn't," says Chelstrom. And they are both back on the job, ready for the next one.
"I love my job. Why dwell on the bad stuff. I'm going to dwell on the good stuff. Ladder 10 is hollering for us and they drug me outside. I'm like we're good. We almost died but we're good now. I don't want to dwell on the bad stuff," says Rhodes.
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Also on STATter911 …
- Firefighter falls through floor at Jewell, IA house fire. Power company & cops man hose lines. – August 12, 2012
- Raw video: House fire in Newark, Delaware. Firefighter fell through floor. – March 25, 2012
- Mayday in Chicago. Firefighter fell through floor of vacant building on South Side. – November 16, 2012
- Helmet-cam video: Three homes burn in Highland Park, Michigan. One person dead. – February 22, 2013
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