Montgomery Fire/Rescue Chief Miford Jordan appeared before the Montgomery City Council on May 16th to give an update about a house fire that occurred on May 14th.
The fire happened Sunday night on Gilmer Avenue and is believed to have started as a fire inside a trash can. Jordan says 911 operators alerted M F/R within one minute of the emergency call and firefighters were on the scene within three minutes of receiving that call.
When the fire crew entered the home to rescue two victims trapped inside they encountered what Jordan called a “flashover” where every combustible surface in an enclosed space simultaneously ignites. He told council members that in a “flashover” temperatures inside the room reach approximately 1,100° fahrenheit.
Despite this the crew remained inside the home and were able to get both victims out through windows. During the rescue five firefighters sustained injuries.
Three of those firemen were treated and released from an area hospital that night and two others were transported to UAB Hospital burn unit in Birmingham.
Capt. Donald Crenshaw suffered burns over 20% of his body and DeAndre Hartman remains on a ventilator due to smoke and soot inhalation.
Jordan says M F/R is the “most well-trained department in the entire United States” and credits that training for all the firemen making it out of the home with both victims.
He also thanked the council for approving the purchase of “the best equipment” and said all of the gear worked as it was designed to.
“If the gear hadn't worked I don't think we'd be talking about UAB right now,” Jordan said.
The chief says a child that was inside the home was pronounced dead just after the fire and a bedridden man that was in the home died in the hospital early Tuesday morning.
All members of the council thanked M F/R for their service and councilman Oronde Mitchell asked a pastor in attendance to offer a special prayer of thanks for all the men making it out of the home alive.
The next meeting of the Montgomery City Council will be held on Tuesday June 6th at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.