California firefighter falls through roof, video

March 30, 2015

Fresno fireA firefighter fell through a roof while battling a fire at a house in Central Fresno on Sunday afternoon. An onlooker videotaped the incident while his fellow firefighters pulled him from the burning building.

The fireman is in critical condition. He underwent surgery on Sunday.

The Fresno Fire Department asked ABC News to post the following video to show the dangers of firefighting.

The family of the injured firefighter has asked his chief not to disclose his identity.

WARNING: This footage contains content that may be disturbing to viewers because of language and video of an injury occurring.

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17 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Firefighting is a dangerous profession. Thank G-d for firefighters.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. easymoney says:

    I hope the fire fighter makes a full recovery…
    The SOP that the firefighters followed is set in stone and every firefighter is trained the same way. Venting a roof is part of the process of control and containing the fire to the smallest area and one that does the least damage to the home. It allows the super heated gasses an avenue of escape and when a trained firefighter vents a roof it is to control the fire.
    For those who are quick to condemn what what happened, take a very deep breath, chill out and thank all firefighters you see for their hard work. It a thankless and dangerous job and I would love to see some of whiners spend just five minutes in a firefighters boots. It would be a life changing experience to say the least.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. slojustice says:

    Even though the garage was fully involved in flames, the rest of the house with that families possessions was probably salvageable due to the fire departments efforts. Home construction usually includes a 1 hour wall between the house and garage. Fire fighting is still a dangerous occupation and my prayers are with the firefighter and his family.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  4. Kevin Rice says:

    Had trouble with the video in Firefox. Chrome worked. Seen this a few times today. Very dramatic. Videographer unfortunately lost quite a bit shooting the ground.

    The raging flames are all the superheated and pressurized gaseous fuels (heat causes solids like wood to convert to flammable gas) instantly igniting once air was introduced (the flow path created by heat escaping through the hole draws air in from below). One can see those pressurized fuels (dark/brown smoke) pouring out every crevice and eave, and even between roof tiles, just prior to the collapse. The best thing for conditions inside is to let that heat out—that’s why he was on the roof in the first place–to make a ventilation hole. Floor-level conditions, while horrendous, would have been much better than what appears coming out the roof. I doubt anyone would have survived that kind of heat. However, it’s likely the entire compartment (ceiling to floor) ignited for a short period and the radiant heat from above was certainly tremendous. You’ll notice the pressurized smoke exiting every crack stops once the heat hole was opened.

    Good work by Fresno getting a hose stream inside quickly, opening the compartment and effecting rescue. Scary stuff. Prayers to Captain Dern and family.

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      Thank you Kevin. One question, to me, it looked like it was ALREADY self-venting, hence my criticism. No?

      (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
      • Kevin Rice says:

        Actually, it wasn’t self-venting, but it was just about to. All the pressurized gases spewing from every crack indicate it’s trying to vent. At that point the fire is ventilation-limited. Once the vent hole was made the fire became free burning. The trapped gases exploded into a temporary frenzy which then subsided to free burning.

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
        • easymoney says:

          Spot on Kevin.
          Fire needs three things: fuel, a heat source and oxygen., The super heated gasses are just waiting to expand and like seen in the movie “back draft” an avenue of escape, usually the path of least resistance like thin glass or doors.
          This firefighter was a captain of many years and probably not his first rodeo. He did what he was told and trained to do, but like many homes they have structural flaws and when fire is added to the mix it does not bod well for the structure, unless the fire is vented…

          (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      One more question, why even try to vent it if it is obviously a total loss anyway?

      I agree, despite my possibly misguided criticism in my first post, prayers for Dern and family and coworkers.

      (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Probably trying to let it breath and not get hotter, to protect the surrounding homes. As far as being on the roof, have you EVER watched the news?? I have seen this since I was ten. They do this a LOT of the time.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  5. Perspicacious says:

    That fireman should NEVER have gone up there under those conditions. Bad decision and the on scene supervisor should be severely reprimanded for allowing that. In the first 5 seconds of the video I could tell the roof was to weak to support a person under those conditions.

    (-9) 17 Total Votes - 4 up - 13 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Oh geez, really?
      Armchair quarterbacks like you claim to know it all but you–or I, or any of use–weren’t there so let’s just be glad that the fireman’s alive.
      Other news outlets say he’s severely burned but at least he survived.

      (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        Do you criticize all the armchair quarterbacks that comment on police stories?

        (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
        • Pelican1 says:

          Given the tragic circumstances, is it really appropriate to criticize the efforts of this brave young man who was willing to give his life to save someones house? As a result of his bravery, he will no doubt suffer the rest of his life…if he lives.

          (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
          • Perspicacious says:

            Really? You think that house was savable? Anyway, while I agree with the outpouring of sympathy for this firefighter and his family, I find it very interesting that the same sympathy is never extended towards police officers who risk their lives every day to save and protect.

            (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
            • pasoparent5 says:

              Perspicacious, for you to say that sympathy is “never extended toward police officers” is just plain false. NONE of us here on this chat board have said that so I’m not sure what your grievance is about.

              Whether it’s a firefighter, a police officer, an EMT, or a citizen who acts as a Good Samaritan, we’re all appreciative and sympathetic of their heroic efforts.

              Now, just ♪ “Let it Go!” ♫

              (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
              • easymoney says:

                Spot on pasoparent…

                “Whether it’s a firefighter, a police officer, an EMT, or a citizen who acts as a Good Samaritan, we’re all appreciative and sympathetic of their heroic efforts.

                This is a sad outcome of a common occurrence and one of complete service and devotion.
                It does not matter the job, but it does matter very much that all ofthese folks put their lives on the line at any moment to serve each of you without question. Again I ask anyone here whining to spend just 5 minutes in their shoes and then think about how you would behave. My money says non of the whiners could or would…

                (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.