Oklahoma Firefighter Struggles To Survive After Wildfires

Updated: 03-15-2006 12:04:32 PM

The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)

Destry Horton, a firefighter critically injured battling wildfires, is fighting to stay alive, his mother said Friday.

"They have never had anybody this badly burned who has survived this long," Jerri Thomas said.

Thomas said her son's arms were amputated this week and he could also lose a foot. His condition is still listed as critical at the Integris Baptist Medical Center burn unit.

Horton, 32, suffered burns to about 50 percent of his body when trapped by a wildfire March 1 near Duncan. He is a firefighter at Chickasha and gave up his day off to battle the blaze. Horton and a Rush Springs colleague entered a smoke-filled area, and their fire truck got stuck.

Horton is married with two young daughters.

"He's with God now, but he doesn't want to let go of his family," Thomas said. "He wants to live, and we?re praying he will."

She said Horton is aware of his surroundings. He can hear and see.

"Every time he wiggles his legs, it's because he hears someone say 'I'm here and I'm praying for you.' "