5 firefighters injured in 3-alarm apartment fire - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

5 firefighters injured in 3-alarm apartment fire

One of the five firefighters injured in the blaze at Audubon Point Apartments (Phin Percy) One of the five firefighters injured in the blaze at Audubon Point Apartments (Phin Percy)

Five New Orleans firefighters were injured Sunday morning as they battled a three-alarm blaze at an Algiers apartment complex.

The Fire Department sent this press release to news media Sunday afternoon:

New Orleans, LA. – On Sunday, October 07, 2012, the New Orleans Fire Department received a 911 call from a resident reporting an apartment building on fire at 4547 Maple Leaf Drive, Audubon Point Apartments. The first company arrived on the scene at 7:25am, finding flames and heavy dark smoke coming from the windows of a first floor unit of a two-story, twelve unit apartment building. Firefighters forced entry through the front door of the burning unit to search for any occupants, but none were found. At the same time a primary search was also being conducted in every other unit of the apartment building. A member of management for the complex told firefighters that there was only one occupied unit in the building and that the rest of the structure was undergoing renovation. The size of the structure involved, the amount of man-power needed to thoroughly search the structure and the possibility that the incident could quickly spread out of control prompted the subsequent call for multiple alarms.

During the process of searching the structure and performing the suppression effort, firefighters fell through the floors of two separate second floor units. Three firefighters and one captain fell through the floor of a second floor unit while performing search activities. One captain fell through the floor of a neighboring occupied unit during the suppression effort as he and his team were attempting to halt the spread of the fire. All five firefighters fell into the first floor area where the fire first started. After falling through the floor into a first floor unit the suppression teams continued to attack the fire from below until being replaced by another company of firefighters and ordered to seek medical attention by Incident Command. Two firefighters were transported by EMS to an area hospital with varying degrees of back, ankle and knee pain. The full extent of the injuries are unknown at this time, but none are believed to warrant extended medical attention. The three other firefighters remained on duty. Nineteen NOFD units carrying fifty-eight fire personnel were used to bring this incident under control at 8:29am. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Emergency Medical Service and the American Red Cross were all on hand to assist in the mitigation of this incident.

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