Severely Burned Missouri Firefighter Lucky to be Alive

An Elkland firefighter is lucky to be alive after suffering severe burns while battling a wildfire on Aug. 30.

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Firefighter David Kuestersteffen was treated for second- and third-degree burns on much of his body and is now out of the hospital after having skin graft surgery last week, according to KY3-TV.

He and another firefighter were the only two on call from their volunteer department the day they got the call.

"I had been trying to douse the grass where the fire was coming at us and it wasn't doing a bit of good, very little good," he said. "It was scary.”

Before they knew it, 400 acres were burned and according to Kuestersteffen, it seemed like the blaze was coming full-force at him at more than 20 miles per hour.

As the fire continued to grow, he found himself trapped by the flames. At first he thought his clothes were on fire, but soon realized it was his skin.

"I believe honestly I had a guardian angel that day laying over the top of me," he told the news station.

While it will take him two years to completely recover from his injuries, he said doctors told him he is healing faster than most.