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New York Firefighter Seriously Hurt in Collapse
Updated: 06-11-2007 11:06:13 AM
Courtesy of WIVBTV News4
A Buffalo firefighter is clinging to life this morning after he was seriously injured on the job.
Firefighter Mark Reed of Engine 31 is in intensive care at Erie County Medical Center after fellow firefighters say a chimney collapsed on him.
It happened as Reed and fellow firefighters were battling flames inside a house at 120 Wende Street. Investigators say the empty house quickly became unstable. Then about ten minutes after crews got to work, disaster struck.
Witness Maria Redd-Moss says "I was standing on the porch, I actually seen the chimney began to collapse and fall. Then I heard a big crashing. I didn't think anyone could have been below it but then they started yelling and screaming and paramedics and everybody were running in the backyard."
Division Chief Don McFeely says "He took a substantial hit. We looked at his helmet, we retrieved his helmet. His helmet's intact. That's a good sign. Maybe he didn't get hit square in the head, but he took a real good hit."
The Fire Commissioner's Office says Firefighter Reed suffered head, chest, and leg injuries. In the meantime, arson is suspected in last night's fire.
New York Firefighters Work With Heavy Hearts
Firefighter Mark Reed continues to fight for his life
Updated: 06-12-2007 01:46:44 PM
Courtesy of WIVB-TV
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- It's been a rough couple of days for the firefighters who work with Mark Reed. News 4's Melissa Holmes reports they found themselves in a rather strange situation Monday night.
Buffalo Police combed the scene outside Engine 31 and Ladder 14 on Bailey and Doat Street Monday night after firefighters found a man laying there. He'd been shot in the abdomen.
Without hesitation, those firefighters went out and did their job. But their hearts are heavy as their thoughts remain on their injured comrade.
Ladder 14 Lt. Joseph Victor said, "We just go out and do our job and come back and hopefully everyone returns back, unfortunately this time it didn't turn out that way."
Mark Reed continues to fight for his life at ECMC after he suffered severe injuries from a chimney collapse while battling a vacant house fire Sunday night.
All of his fellow firefighters returned to their regular shift Monday, even though they were offered the night off.
Buffalo firefighter John Keany said, "As soon as you're walking in you think, the same thing that happened to him last night could happen to me today."
While getting back to work was difficult, the firefighters found ways to stay strong.
Buffalo firefighter Joe Rankin said, "We have two families, we have our home and we have our family here and it's what we lean on."
They looked at the photos in Reed's locker, and remembered better times.
Joe Rankin said, "He's like our little brother. We're constantly giving it to him and he gives it right back."
Ladder 14 Captain Peter Kertzie said, "He's dedicated and he loves his job and he loves his family and you put those things together and that's a good person."
What happened to Reed brings home how dangerous their job can be.
Lt. Victor said, "Unfortunately, we all know that it could be any one of us is that position."
But it doesn't stop these firefighters from doing what they love to do.
Capt. Kertzie said, "The bell is gonna ring in a couple of minutes. If it rings, we're gonna go and do the same thing."
Police tell News 4 the victim from Monday night's shooting, Timothy Kuhn, is in fair condition at ECMC.
Republished with permission of WIVB-TV.
photo The Buffalo Fire Department
Firefighter Mark Reed
Injured New York Firefighter Shows Slight Improvement
Updated: 06-14-2007 10:07:07 AM
MAKI BECKER, VANESSA THOMAS and MATT GRYTA
Buffalo News (New York)
The Buffalo firefighter who was severely injured when a chimney collapsed on him as he battled an arson fire at a vacant house Sunday night was showing "minuscule" signs of recovery Tuesday, Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo said.
Firefighter Mark Reed, 36, was heavily sedated and breathing with the aid of a machine but has managed to take a breath on his own, Lombardo told The Buffalo News just after visiting him in the intensive care unit at Erie County Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Also, doctors have been able to relieve some of the pressure on Reed's brain.
"So we're hopeful," Lombardo said. But "he's still very, very critical. So he's not out of the woods yet."
Meanwhile, the former owner of the house at 120 Wende St. where Reed was injured was in jail Tuesday on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to appear in city Housing Court to face housing code violations related to the property, as well as a second house on Best Street.
Dale L. Acker, 43, was taken into custody Monday night with the assistance of Erie County sheriff's deputies in Delevan and was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail in the Erie County Holding Center.
Acker was not charged in connection with the Wende Street blaze.
He is tentatively scheduled to appear in court June 21.
The bench warrant was issued in January after a series of court actions against Acker that date back to at least 2005, said Richard Tobe, commissioner of the city's Department of Economic Development, Permits and Inspections.
"We've had a long-term situation with this property owner," Tobe said.
In November, the city took title to the Wende Street property from Acker after he allegedly failed to pay back taxes on it. Acker then was ordered to either tear down the building himself or pay the city to have it demolished. But nothing was done.
The morning after the fire that injured Reed, the city razed the property as an emergency demolition.
All day Tuesday in ECMC, Reed was surrounded by his wife, Nancy; his parents; and fellow firefighters who kept vigil at his bedside.
Dr. Krishan Raghavendran, an ECMC trauma surgeon, said Reed is showing some small signs of improvement, although it's still not clear what the extent of the injuries to his brain and body are.
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