Ala. Chief Critical in Fire Destroying Four Homes

The fire chief of the Dauphin Island Fire Department is in critical condition and two other firefighters were injured while battling a blaze that destroyed four homes last night, according to WALA-TV.

Fire Chief Brad Cox was airlifted to USA Medical Center after suffering burns at the house fire on Barcelona Drive that crews responded to around 9 p.m.

According to WKRG-TV, Cox sustained burns to the upper part of his body and is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit. As of 3:30 a.m. this morning, he was listed in critical condition.

Mayor Jeff Collier told the news station that the fire chief is expected to be OK but will have to endure a long recovery process.

Two other firefighters were rushed to the hospital and were treated and released.

The massive blaze in Dauphin Island -- possibly sparked by a fireplace before winds caused it to spread to nearby homes -- brought in firefighters from around the county.

"When I got to the top of the bridge it looked like the world was on fire," Alabama Port Fire Chief Patrick Burns told WALA-TV. "We got a call that Dauphin Island had a house on fire with a man down and found out it was the fire chief that was down."

It took crews several hours to extinguish the blaze.