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Firefighter severely burned while battling house fire in Jacksonville neighborhood

Firefighter taken to UF Health Shands Burn Center in Gainesville

Firefighters with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were called just after 2 p.m. Thursday to put out a fire at a house on Restlawn Drive.
Firefighters with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were called just after 2 p.m. Thursday to put out a fire at a house on Restlawn Drive.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A firefighter suffered first- and second-degree burns while battling a blaze at a home in Northwest Jacksonville on Thursday, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

The firefighter, who has been with JFRD for a couple of years, was being transferred to the UF Health Shands Burn Center in Gainesville for treatment, said Fire Chief Keith Powers.

Powers said the firefighter had severe steam burns around his wrist and also had burns on his arms, shoulders, neck and ears. He said the firefighter was wearing protective gear, but it’s thinnest at the wrist.

Powers said the firefighter and his family are “in a good place” and he expects the firefighter will recover. The fire union president said his team is making sure the firefighter and his family have everything they need during the recovery process.

Firefighters were called just after 2 p.m. to put out a fire at a house on Restlawn Drive. According to JFRD, when the first units from Fire Station 36 arrived at the house fire, they were told someone was still inside, so firefighters rushed in, thinking they might have to make a rescue. It turned out no one was inside, JFRD said.

Powers said the injured firefighter was manning a hose when he suffered the burns. Powers commended the selfless dedication that the firefighter displayed.

Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said about 25 firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Prosswimmer said the fire appeared to have started in the attic, making the fight harder. He also said part of the floor collapsed.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Prosswimmer said there were no apparent signs of foul play. The state fire marshal has taken over the investigation.

The American Red Cross is helping two adults who lived in the home find a temporary place to stay and other necessities.


About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.