Probationary DC Firefighter struck by ladder truck on fireground

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WRC-TV/NBC4:

A D.C. firefighter was critically injured after he was struck by another fire department vehicle late Wednesday night.

The accident happened as firefighters were responding to a rowhouse fire on the 800 block of F Street NE at 11:30 p.m.

Fire officials say 28-year-old Dane Smothers Jr. was preparing hose line and other equipment when he was struck by a ladder truck arriving at the scene. Fire officials say Smothers’ uncle, a D.C. firefighter, was also on the scene of the fire.

Smothers, a probationary firefighter, underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition. Fire officials say Smothers suffered multiple injuries above the waist.

Clarence Williams, The Washington Post:

Doctors were operating on Dane Smothers Jr., 28, the firefighter who was injured early Thursday after he was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said Doug Buchanan, a fire department spokesman.

Smothers jumped off Engine 3 as firefighters arrived in the 800 block of F Street NE about 11:30 p.m. After he leaped from the engine, he was hit by Truck 7 and critically injured, Buchanan said. Officials said Smothers was in his third month in the field of a probation period that lasts one year.

“We has very serious injuries to his upper body,” assistant chief Craig Baker said at an early morning news conference outside the hospital. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him. And our fingers are crossed that he keeps improving.”

Smothers’ uncle, who was from a different firehouse in the District, was also helping to respond to the scene.