N.D. Firefighters Describe Being Trapped in 5-Alarmer

Both men escaped uninjured, and credit their training for their ability to remain cool.


Two Fargo firefighters trapped in a burning apartment on Monday night described what they endured to InForum.

"It happened very quickly. I was about to swing (an ax). I heard a groan, a crack, and saw the ceiling come down," Firefighter Josh Christofferson said.

Christofferson and Capt. Keith Johnson were assigned to attack the five-alarm fire from the third floor of the Galleria On 42nd apartment complex on Oct. 11.

As the two men attempted to bring up a hose connection, the ceiling of the apartment unit's living room collapsed on them. The drywall and ceiling fell on Christofferson's head and back while Johnson was just eight feet away from him when the collapse occurred, according to the newspaper.

"The last thing I saw of Josh was his boots going into the bedroom," Johnson said.

A hose crew was luckily behind Johnson and was able to assist him, but Christofferson was still trapped in the bedroom area. He then called a mayday and rushed to a window where a ladder crew was able to reach him.

Both men escaped uninjured, and credit their training for their ability to remain cool throughout the incident.