Kansas Firefighter Electrocuted at a Grassfire
by Megahn Snyder
Courtesy of KWCH 12
A Sedgwick County firefighter who was hurt at the scene of a grass fire in Haysville has died. Sedgwick County dispatchers say the 32-year-old was electrocuted around 2:15 Monday afternoon near 95th St. South and Broadway.
An air ambulance took the firefighter to the hospital.
Fire investigators say the fire sparked after a semi truck driver hit a poll and drove away. The crash caused the wire to snap and start the grassfire.
When crews arrived on the scene the firefighter somehow touched that wire.
Sheriff's deputies and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers are looking for the truck driver who may have started the fire. Witnesses say she's driving a white US Freight Express truck with red lettering.
The crash also caused more than 400 power outages in the area. Westar crews hope to restore electricity by 6:00 p.m.
A Sedgwick County firefighter was electrocuted by a downed power line near 95th St. S. & Broadway in southern Sedgwick County Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old man was flown to St. Francis hospital, but rescuers could not revive him.
The initial call to dispatchers was that a semi-truck had hit a power pole, downing electrical lines. Those lines sparked a grass fire. 414 homes were without power in that area.
The tractor-trailer that hit the pole left the scene - authorities are working the case as a hit and run. The driver was found in Oklahoma - she admitted to officers there that she made a u-turn when she hit the pole.
Sedgwick County authorities are not releasing the victim's name yet, but are expected to during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Firefighters from around the city and county are mourning the loss of one of their own. They say they are a team, and even if they don't know the man who died, they hurt just the same. "It devastates us, it makes me sick to my stomach. You just feel so sorry for the family and co-workers. It's just terrible," says Battalion Chief Ernie Schuler.
Sedgwick County leaders say they also are saddened by the firefighter's death. They will be investigating what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again.
God be with this firefighter's family and friends!
Stay Alert and Be safe!
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Thread: Kansas News
09-25-2007, 09:09 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
Last edited by coldfront; 09-25-2007 at 02:03 PM.Always a day late and a dollar short!
09-26-2007, 11:53 AM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
Name: Bryon Wayne Johnson
Years of Service: 8
Date of Incident: 09/24/2007
Time of Incident: 1415 hours
Date of Death: 09/24/2007
Fire Department: Sedgwick County Fire District #1
Address: 4343 N. Woodlawn, Wichita, KS 67220
Fire Department Chief: Fire Chief Gary Curmode
Incident Description: A tractor trailer rig took a wrong turn and had
to turn around because a bridge was closed for construction. When
turning around, the rig struck a utility pole causing a live wire to
fall and spark a grass fire near houses. While battling the
wind-whipped grass fire, Lieutenant Johnson came in contact with the
live wire and was severely shocked. Lieutenant Johnson was taken by
ambulance in critical condition to Via Christi Regional Medical
Center-St Francis Campus where he passed away within an hour.
Funeral Arrangements: PendingAlways a day late and a dollar short!
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