A firefighter with the Knoxville Fire Department was seriously injured while attempting to put out a blaze that had gotten underway at a home in the southern portion of the city on Jan. 21.

Calls from residents who live near the Wynn Avenue home first started flooding in to 911 just after 4:50 p.m. on Jan. 21. The South Knoxville residents reported seeing smoke billowing from the attic and roof of a home on the street.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, one of the bystanders informed them that she had been in the home when the fire broke out but that she was fortunate enough to have escaped without any injuries.

With that good news in mind, they quickly rushed into the home in an effort to stop the fire from spreading. Soon after entering the house, the ceiling collapsed atop one of the firefighters.

Although he was wearing his helmet at the time, a KFD spokesperson notes that he suffered neck injuries when it came crumbling down on him. As the day came to a close, he was described as being conscious and alert. It’s unclear what his long-term prognosis is.

A spokesperson with the KFD notes that their preliminary investigation revealed that the fire most likely started at the heat and air unit connector on the home’s exterior. They believe that the fire soon spread to a nearby crawlspace, traveled up an interior wall and into the attic.

Fighting fires is not for the weak. One of the reasons that firefighters undergo such intensive training before they’re allowed to fight actual blazes is to make sure that they have the necessary expertise to minimize their risk of injury or death.

Like any work site, accidents happen. If you’re a firefighter that’s been hurt on the job, then you should first report your injuries to your supervisor, then consult with an attorney to secure all of the benefits that you’re eligible to recover.