CARBONDALE — A firefighter was injured at the scene of a fire Thursday morning in Lackawanna County.
The fire broke out around 9:30 a.m. at a home on Gordon Avenue in Carbondale.
People on a COLTS bus were the first to notice smoke and flames at the home on Gordon Avenue in Carbondale.
Neighbor Gary Shaffer says the bus passengers rushed to the home’s back door and started to help before calling 911.
“One guy, he was a disabled veteran, he busted the door down because I said if there are two cars she might be gone, if there’s one she might be home. So he busted the door down but so much smoke came out you couldn’t get in,” said Shaffer.
The homeowner was not home. Minutes later Carbondale firefighters arrived and were met by a first floor full of flames caused by an electrical problem.
Neighbor Candi Kimble says in the chaos of it all, she saw firefighters tending to one of their own who took a hit setting up the hoses.
“I saw him laying on the sidewalk. I didn’t see him get injured. But I saw him laying there,” Kimble said.
Firefighter Brian Chapman, a veteran firefighter, was hit with a hose that had just been filled with water.
Chief Chris Pezak says Chapman suffered a bad gash on his face and a possible concussion.
“I’m losing a lot of guys to injury, and it’s not good, it doesn’t look good for me. But, again, nothing was preventable. It happens, unfortunately, it’s a dangerous business,” said Chief Pezak.
The chief says he’ll never forget a day about four months ago. Four of his firefighters were hurt when a floor collapsed at a home on Fallbrook Street in Carbondale.
Firefighter Chapman is expected to be OK after the hit he took but another injury is an emotional hit for the department, and a reminder of the dangers of the job.
“I don’t think they really do, it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while. But we’re here to serve the public, so it goes with the job,” said Carbondale firefighter Steven Wright.
Still a job, many of these guys say they wouldn’t want to change.
A state police fire marshal will be trying to figure out how that fire started.