By Laura Crimaldi / News Staff Writer
Sunday, May 2, 2004
A Natick man remained in critical condition yesterday after the longtime Brookline firefighter was thrown from an engine that was on its way to an emergency call for a natural gas odor on Friday.
Irwin “Buzz” Gross, 58, is being treated for head injuries at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, according to hospital spokesman Marty Querzoli.
The veteran firefighter was sitting in the seat behind the driver in Engine 3 when he left the Washington Street station just after 9 a.m.
As the engine turned right toward Regents Circle, Gross was apparently thrown to the ground, investigators have said.
Firefighters said Gross was wearing a helmet when he fell, but it wasn’t clear Friday whether he was wearing a seat belt. The engine is equipped with seat belts.
“We’re really at a loss as to what happened,” Brookline fire Chief Peter Skerry said at a news conference.
Engine 3 was taken out of service and towed to a secure lot for examination, Brookline Police said Friday.
Investigators want to figure out whether there was something wrong with a door that should have stopped Gross from falling out.
Brookline firefighters said no one was available yesterday to comment on the incident.
A telephone message left at Gross’s Timber Lane home was not returned. Gross is married and the father of two adult children.