Va. Firefighters Pinned After Beams Collapse
A Mayday was called and a RIT team had to free one of the three injured firefighters.
BY REX BOWMAN
The Roanoke Times, Va.
Two Bedford County firefighters were hospitalized after beams in a burning house collapsed on them Monday morning in the Stewartsville community. A third firefighter was slightly injured when all three were briefly pinned down.
Jack Jones, chief of fire and rescue services in the county, said the three firefighters belong to the Stewartsville-Chamblissburg Volunteer Fire Co. None is in serious condition. One is in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with minor injuries and heat exhaustion. The other was sent to the hospital after experiencing back pains.
"It was a really tight area," Jones said. "How they were able to get out of there -- it was the grace of God."
Jones said the three were in an unoccupied, burning home on Sandy Level Road, where firefighters were dispatched around 7 a.m., when thick wooden beams collapsed.
"They were hit, beaten and knocked to the floor," Jones said. "Two of them were able to crawl out" from the debris. The two stayed with the third firefighter, and one of them called a May Day. A Rapid Intervention Team pulled the third firefighter free.
The home, perhaps a century hold, was completely destroyed. The home's occupant had died recently.
Firefighters from the Stewartsville-Chamblissburg, Hardy, Montvale, Forest, and Bedford City volunteer companies fought the blaze.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service