Three firefighters remain at Parkland Hospital Wednesday night in critical condition, but are expected to make a full recovery after the explosion and partial collapse of an apartment building in southeast Dallas.
Another was treated for a foot injury and later released. Dallas Fire Chief Dominique Artis said it was never something he wanted to hear on the other end of the phone. Four of its firefighters were in trouble.
âWhen you hear a distress call from your firefighters, your heart sinks because it means someone is stranded or injured,â Artis said. âThere is no routine call. It might seem like a routine call and it can always transcend into something you don’t expect. “
Firefighters were called to Highland Hills apartments just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning after residents complained about the smell of natural gas. During their investigation, an explosion occurred resulting in the partial collapse of a building.
Dallas Fire Department Medical Director Marshal Isaacs spoke to the media with the chief on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are not going to go into details of their specific injuries other than to say that they were seriously injured, but we are very optimistic that they will survive and make a full recovery,” Isaacs said.
Dallas Fire-Rescue said the explosion will be a joint investigation involving multiple local, state and federal agencies. In the meantime, those who watched the events unfold are grateful.
“I think they did an amazing job, man,” witness Timothy Davis said. “It’s really dangerous and they are brave opponents, so I take my hat off to them.”
In addition to the firefighters, three other people were also taken to Parkland but all are expected to be released by the end of the night. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Police Chief Eddie Garcia were also at the hospital visiting the injured and their families. The DFR did not confirm the extent of the firefighters’ injuries, but it was suggested that they were burns.