The body of a Dallas firefighter who radioed for help after becoming trapped in a burning condominium has been recovered.
The firefighter, whose name has not yet been released, was among the 100 Dallas firefighters who responded to a six-alarm fire at the Hearthwood Condominiums at 12363 Abrams Road Monday morning.
When firefighters arrived shortly before 3 a.m., smoke was seen billowing through the roof of the complex. Dallas Fire-Rescue’s Jason Evans said firefighters initially started to attack the fire offensively, but moved to a defensive posture due to how fast the fire was growing.
At about 5 a.m., one of the firefighters radioed that he was trapped inside the building and that he wasn’t sure where he was. Evans said crews had not been able to reach the firefighter by radio since that message.
At about 9:15 a.m., the body of the firefighter was found. He was removed from the rubble, covered in an American flag and carried to an ambulance as dozens of firefighters and onlookers flanked either side, removed their helmets and saluted the procession.
Jason Evans with Dallas Fire-Rescue told NBC 5’s Kendra Lyn that the missing firefighter used his radio to say he was trapped inside and did not know where he was. Evans says crews have not been able to reach the firefighter by radio since that last message.
Evans also said the huge fire is keeping crews from searching the building for any injured or trapped residents inside the building.
At least 24 units in the complex are involved in the fire and embers from the flames have been reported landing on town homes behind the complex.
Dallas Fire-Rescue elevated the blaze to a six-alarm fire at 5:23 a.m. Monday, bringing in additional units to help battle the blaze. Ninety firefighters and 15 fire engines were at the scene as of 5:16 a.m.
Dallas firefighters are “still looking” for a comrade they believe is trapped inside a six-alarm blaze that has devoured a condominium complex at Abrams Road and LBJ Freeeway.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says the firefighter radio’d in that he was trapped and lost, at which point his radio went dead. He has not been heard from since. It’s believed he became trapped when one of the floors collapsed.
Evans says the call first came in at 2:52 this morning. Firefighters arrived to find an elderly woman trapped in a third-story unit. She was rescued, with a ladder truck, and treated at the scene by paramedics.
Thanks in part to gusty winds, it didn’t take long for the fire to spread: “It went to six at 5:22,” says Evans.
“It got defensive pretty fast,” says Evans, who adds that “at least 24 units in the complex are completely destroyed.”
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