West Virginia Firefighter Falls Through Floor of Burning Home

April 10, 2008
The floor gave out and the firefighter fell about five feet into a crawl space.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston firefighters were reminded of how dangerous their job can be Wednesday morning, when a first responder fell through the floor of a burning house.

Capt. R. Parsons entered through the front door of the house at 1518 Loudon Heights Road when the floor gave out and he fell about five feet into a crawl space, said Capt. Carl Beaver.

There was no fire where he fell, and firefighters were able to get him out uninjured.

"He's lucky he didn't get hurt - really, really lucky," Beaver said.

Flames were visible in the back of the house when firefighters arrived on scene just before 5 a.m., Beaver and Metro 911 dispatchers said.

They were unable to keep the flames from damaging much of the inside of the house, which was empty and for sale, he said.

Several hours after the fire was extinguished, investigators still had no idea what started the blaze.

"We know where it started, but how it started, we're scratching out heads at this point," Beaver said. "We don't have a clue at this point."

The house's owner, Bill Flynt, said he inherited the house from his mother, who passed away two years ago. Flynt's parents built the house in 1965.

"I got a call at 4:45 a.m. A neighbor called and said the house was on fire," said Flynt, who lives with his wife in Charleston's East End. "I'm glad we weren't here."

Republished with permission of The Charleston Gazette.

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