DALLAS — The pain, the scars and memories remain but so does the will to serve others.
“To this day I can’t believe I am alive,” said Captain Christopher Gadomski of Dallas Fire-Rescue.
“You just kind of feel like you owe it to everybody to come back,” said firefighter Ronald Hall.
Two of the three firefighters severely injured in the explosion at the Highland Hills apartments in Oak Cliff are back at work, a year after they were injured.
“A lot of people might give up and say I can’t take it but the job we do is extreme and phenomenal and to help people that is why we do it,” said Gadomski.
Gadomski said the injuries he sustained were extensive.
“I had 30% burns on my body, chest, back, my whole face, head and arms and both legs were hanging and blown apart,” said Gadomski.
He went into cardiac arrest and was in the burn unit at Parkland Hospital for more than a month.
“I was in the middle of a surgery and in extreme pain and I thought this is it. I can’t take any more,” Gadomski said.
The doctors saved his legs, and he said his desire to come back to work that kept him going.
Hall feels the same way. He had second-degree burns on over 45% of his body.
He said at times during recovery he felt dying would be easier
“I got a new saying. Dying is easy living is hard. When I rolled out of a surgery I thought why don’t I just die,” said Hall.
Hall was in the blast zone in the apartment with firefighter Pauline Perez when it came tumbling down.
“As soon as I stepped in the door it blew and I knew what happened and I didn’t expect to live through it,” said Hall.
During interviews with WFAA, the two firefighters got a call for service, and just like that they were back on the job doing what they love — helping others.