Two Cedar Rapids firefighters were seriously injured when a hose came loose and hit them on the scene of an apartment fire early Sunday.
Spokesman Craig Buelow says one firefighter suffered a concussion and another was hit in the chest. “There was a breach in the hose and it swung and hit them. It was an inch-and-three-quarter line — so that would be the equivalent with a frozen line like that of about an inch-and-three-quarter diameter pipe smacking somebody in the head or chest,” Buelow says.
The firefighter hit in the head was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City and the other was taken to a local hospital. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Buelow says if they were not wearing their gear and a fire helmet they could have been killed.
Buelow says it may have been ice in the line that caused the problem. “Our guess at this point is that fire truck was on a medical call for a half hour and then they were heading back to the station and got this call,” Buelow says. “So, if that hose line was frozen or had some ice in it — the minute they hit the pump and charged it more it probably lodge that ice chunk right at the connection or that coupling.” The coupling is then believed to have come loose and the hose swung into the firefighters.
Buelow says there will be a full investigation into what happened. The names of the injured firefighters have not been released.