Two of the three Dearborn firefighters who narrowly escaped a roof collapse while battling a commercial fire last week recently spoke to WXYZ-TV about the close call.
Firefighters Mark Farrell and Joe Murray and Lt. Steven Bucholz were ventilating the roof of the building housing Fordson Cleaners on March 29 when the roof started to give way.
"As soon as I felt it going I just reached for that wall," Farrell, who is seen sliding toward the hole in a video that captured the incident, told the news station.
Murray and Bucholz formed a chain to pull themselves off of the roof, potentially saving Farell's life.
"Thank God for both of these guys," he said.
He said they didn't realize how dire the situation was until they saw the video on the evening news.
"Oh man, I was closer to the hole than I thought it was," he said. "And it wasn’t until I saw the video that I realized that."
Murray agreed with his comrade.
"It really opened our eyes how lucky we got," he said. "Basically, we’ve been told to open up a hole to let all the hot air out so the crews underneath could get in and put the fire out. It was burning so long underneath there that it weakened the structural members and that's what caused the collapse there."
The firefighters said there was no warning before the roof began to cave in.
Farrell said that both he and Murray were able to keep calm as Bucholz gave them instructions.
"We were able to work through it," he said.