Tuesday, April 24, 2012
We were alerted to this video of a very
close call for firefighters and police by a STATter911.com reader. The
incident happened Sunday evening in Yorba Linda, California. The series
of explosions from a manhole was caught on a police car’s dash-cam. The
police arrived first and saw the smoking manhole and waited for
When the firefighters arrived to take a
close up look another explosion occurred. Captain David Wolf of the
Orange County Fire Authority was thrown ten feet by the blast. Wolf and a
firefighter suffered minor burns and bruises. Wolf told KCBS-TV he was
very lucky. That interview is in the video below
Eventually, a fire captain and firefighter
approached the manhole and looked down. The electrical vault
unexpectedly exploded, literally sending the fire captain flying into
The firefighter headed for the bushes to administer aid and
the two police officers were also prepared to help when all of a sudden
there was another explosion. The men rushed to get the fire captain out.
As he was being dragged to safety, the fourth blast went off.
“The fire captain and the firefighter were properly equipped
to approach that. We’re taught to approach carefully. They were
investigating what they thought was a fire. They didn’t expect it to
explode like that,” said Concepcion.
“When we got there, you could see that it was
just a little bit of smoke. There wasn’t a lot of smoke coming out, so I
thought, ‘OK, the incident is kind of over. It’s now just protect
anyone from going into an open manhole,’” he said.
But that would prove to be the least of his worries. As
Captain Wolf gazed down to see what he describes as a small electrical
fire inside the vault, a rare event occurred – the vault exploded. “I kind of tried to roll away from it. And the next thing I
know is that when my firemen was kind of dragging me. I found out later
it was my firemen I didn’t know, but somebody had picked me up from the
back of my coat and dragged me,” he said.
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