JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All eight firefighters who were injured last week when an explosion occurred while they were battling a fire aboard a cargo ship at Blount Island have been released from the hospital, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said Wednesday.
The eight members of JFRD were among dozens trying to find the fire inside the Norwegian ship loaded with used vehicles on Thursday afternoon when there was an explosion. The firefighters escaped the ship with their lives, but with burns to their heads and hands.
JFRD Chief Keith Powers said it’s a miracle the eight men caught in that explosion survived.
As of Monday, two firefighters were still in the hospital, undergoing skin grafting surgeries in the burn unit at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville. But JFRD announced Wednesday that all eight firefighters had been released from the hospital and were recovering at home.
“They have a long haul ahead of them, but we are so thankful for the support and prayers,” JFRD tweeted. “Keep them coming.”
A ninth firefighter was hospitalized for heat exhaustion.
JFRD said Tuesday it was overwhelmed with requests to help the injured firefighters, so a fundraising account was set up on the Jacksonville Association of Firefighter’s website.
“Thank you to all of the JFRD firefighters who continue to battle this ship fire and continued good thoughts to those who are recovering from their injuries,” the city said Tuesday in a Facebook post.
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The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday there were still hotspots inside the ship, but the flames aboard the car carrier were under control.