CFD Responds to Fire, Avoids Serious Injury

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Lancewood 2 18 2bSubmitted by Central Fire Department
A Central Fire Department captain escaped serious injury on Monday, February 5, at a structure fire when a large awning fell, trapping him underneath. The Box Alarm was received at approximately 2:45 pm for a building fire behind a house in the 12100 block of Lancewood.  CFD Deputy Chief Charles Mondrick stated first arriving firefighters were greeted by a large metal building totally involved in fire, with numerous nearby exposures threatened.  Additionally, firefighters had to deal with a civilian in the front yard of the structure complaining of serious medical issues. At this point only one CFD fire engine was on scene with the rest of the remaining apparatus still responding. The captain of the first arriving apparatus pulled a fire hose to the front of the fire building as other firefighters administered aid to the civilian.  Almost immediately after the captain positioned the hose to start flowing water, the awning on the front of the metal building fell. Mondrick stated firefighters quickly called a “MAYDAY” alerting all personnel on scene and those responding, that a firefighter was trapped and in need of rescue. With only the first initial firefighters on scene, civilians jumped into action and assisted on scene firefighters with the rescue.  Thankfully, the captain received very minor injuries and returned to work at the fire. 
Mondrick stated all fire departments in East Baton rouge Parish have a plan in place to have a RIC (Rapid Intervention Crew) on scene of serious incidents that pose a severe threat to firefighter safety.  Unfortunately, according to  Mondrick, the collapse occurred immediately, prior to the arrival of the designated Rapid Intervention Crew, prompting civilians to jump into the rescue effort. 
The fire was controlled within an hour of the initial dispatch; however the building and its contents were totally destroyed.  Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to a nearby travel trailer and the main home in front of the building.  Mondrick stated prior to the fire being controlled, an explosion occurred sending debris throughout the immediate area.  This debris ignited a bush at a next door home, however firefighters quickly extinguished this blaze before it could damage the neighboring home. 
Mondrick stated, a second alarm was requested for more personnel and equipment in addition to all CFD apparatus that were dispatched on the first alarm.  Engines from East Side, District Six, and Baker Fire Departments responded to the scene along with a fire investigator and a Haz Mat Team from the Baton Rouge Fire Department.  Engines from Zachary, St. George and Pride Fire Departments covered empty Central Stations.  The cause of the fire is undetermined, but thought to be electrical. Luckily, the civilian that firefighters treated, recovered and remained at the scene. CFD Fire Chief Bill Porche said CFD has always responded when civilians call for help and civilians did not hesitate to help us when it counted the most.  For that, we are forever grateful, Porche said.