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Fresno Firefighter Badly Burned After Roof Collapse

A Fresno, California firefighter was in critical condition Sunday after falling through a roof into a burning garage, an incident captured on video.
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/ Source: NBC News

A firefighter suffered serious burns over most of his body when he fell through the roof of a blazing home in Fresno, California, an incident recorded on a neighbor's cellphone, fire officials said.

The firefighter, a 25-year veteran who wasn't identified, was walking on top of the garage to ventilate it when he abruptly plunged through the roof at about 1:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET), the Fresno Fire Department said. In cellphone video, large flames can be seen emerging from the garage where the firefighter fell. Moments later firefighters frantically attack the garage door with axes in an attempt to save the firefighter.

Although his colleagues pulled him from the blazing garage within three minutes, he was burned over 65 percent of his body, with 40 percent of his body suffering third-degree burns, Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis told reporters at Community Regional Medical Center. Donis said the firefighter, who she described as a "seasoned captain," was in critical condition and in surgery Sunday night.

"Fresno Firefighters have pulled together in this tragic time and are fully supporting the firefighter's family in their time of need," the fire department said.

— M. Alex Johnson