Injured New York Firefighter Released from the Hospital

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NEW YORK-- A teary firefighter left a Manhattan hospital yesterday, three weeks after he sustained serious injuries in a two-story fall while battling a blaze in The Bronx.

"I'm a very lucky man," said Brian Smith, an 11-year FDNY veteran assigned to Ladder 44. "I feel great. The whole thing has been overwhelming."

Smith broke ribs, fractured vertebrae, and suffered neck and head injuries when he tumbled out of a ladder bucket outside an apartment window on Shakespeare Avenue in Highbridge on Nov. 18.

Neighbors said the blaze was caused by a candle left burning in a second-floor unit of the six-story building.

Smith's eyes began to water when colleagues cheered as he was released from New York Hospital. The married father of two still has to undergo two to four weeks of rehabilitation.

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

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