We first told you about this incident yesterday in Quick Takes. We were alerted to this video of a very close call for firefighters and police by a STATter911.com reader. The incident happened Sunday evening in Yorba Linda, California. The series of explosions from a manhole was caught on a police car’s dash-cam. The police arrived first and saw the smoking manhole and waited for firefighters.
When the firefighters arrived to take a close up look another explosion occurred. Captain David Wolf of the Orange County Fire Authority was thrown ten feet by the blast. Wolf and a firefighter suffered minor burns and bruises. Wolf told KCBS-TV he was very lucky. That interview is in the video below
Eventually, a fire captain and firefighter approached the manhole and looked down. The electrical vault unexpectedly exploded, literally sending the fire captain flying into the bushes.
The firefighter headed for the bushes to administer aid and the two police officers were also prepared to help when all of a sudden there was another explosion. The men rushed to get the fire captain out. As he was being dragged to safety, the fourth blast went off.
“The fire captain and the firefighter were properly equipped to approach that. We’re taught to approach carefully. They were investigating what they thought was a fire. They didn’t expect it to explode like that,” said Concepcion.
“When we got there, you could see that it was just a little bit of smoke. There wasn’t a lot of smoke coming out, so I thought, ‘OK, the incident is kind of over. It’s now just protect anyone from going into an open manhole,’” he said.But that would prove to be the least of his worries. As Captain Wolf gazed down to see what he describes as a small electrical fire inside the vault, a rare event occurred – the vault exploded.
“I kind of tried to roll away from it. And the next thing I know is that when my firemen was kind of dragging me. I found out later it was my firemen I didn’t know, but somebody had picked me up from the back of my coat and dragged me,” he said.
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