Kentucky Firefighter Hospitalized After Floor Collapses

(CRESTWOOD, Ky.) -- A Kentuckiana firefighter was injured Wednesday when a floor collapsed, sending him crashing into the basement while he was fighting the flames. The couple who own the home weren't injured in the fire, the their house near Crestwood was heavily damaged. WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski has more.

"You just don't think your house will ever burn up," said Linda Eversole as she tried to salvage pictures outside the remains of her charred home Wednesday.

Linda says "my husband called and said: 'the house is on fire, and it's gone.' I was working. And I thought he was kidding, you know. But he wasn't."

Boxes of pictures and a few mementos from a lifetime of memories were all Linda and bill Eversole could salvage from the fire that destroyed their home near Crestwood Wednesday afternoon.

"I was in the shower when I heard the smoke alarm as I got out," Bill Eversole recalled. "So I came downstairs to check on it."

It was clear this was a disaster in the making. "I saw smoke coming from the garage door that goes into the house," Bill said.

By the time firefighters arrived, the flames had dangerously weakened the first floor as one of them entered the home.

Maj. Michael Thompson with the Ballardsville Fire Department told us "a firefighter from the south Oldham Fire Department did fall through the first floor into the basement. A mayday was called; rapid intervention teams made access into the structure, got him out within two minutes."

The quick rescue may have prevented more serious injury.

"He did receive second degree burns to his forearms and his abdomen. We STAT flighted him to University of Louisville hospital with non-life threatening injuries."

Despite their training, Maj. Thompson says it was no picnic getting him out. "We actually had to breach the wall at the bottom of the steps to get to where he was, and then we took him out by a ladder through the same hole he fell in."

Thompson says they were able to get to the firefighter quickly through the smoke and debris, because of an alarm in his oxygen pack.

Although the Eversoles lost everything, they still had deep gratitude for the injured firefighter who tried to keep that from happening.

"They said that was his job," Linda said, "but still, you hate for somebody to get hurt just for trying to save a house."

The injured firefighter was in stable condition in the burn unit of University Hospital with first and second degree burns to his hands, arms and stomach.

Republished with permission of WAVE-TV