Family of injured Longview police officer says he's healing, but still in excruciating pain

Family of injured Longview police officer says he's healing, but still in excruciating pain

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - A Longview police officer is still in the intensive care unit after a flash fire burned over 50 percent of his body.

Chris Vannoy noticed smoke coming from his in-laws' shed, and when he opened the door, the fire enveloped him.

"She was at home; she had been away maybe 10 minutes when she heard him screaming. She came outside and put him out with the water hose," said Gary McDonald, Chris Vannoy's father-in-law.

Chris' fiancé, Brittany McDonald, found her soon-to-be husband in her parents' backyard, engulfed in flames.

"We started searching for the burn victim, and he was found on the front porch with Brittany," Gary said.

Gary is a firefighter in Arp but since he is also Chris' father-in-law, he considers Chris to be the son he never had.

"It's hard," McDonald said.

Chris is the best kind of triple threat; a paramedic, a police officer, and a volunteer firefighter.

But on August 20, a freak accident left 3rd-degree burns on 51% percent of Chris's body.

"He's going through his fourth or fifth surgery this Friday. He's having to take hydrobaths every day,  and they are excruciatingly painful," McDonald said.

It's a treatment necessary to avoid infection.

"They are just trying to keep him comfortable and let him heal," McDonald said.

Chris' family said they are overwhelmed by the love and care they continue to receive, including benefits, fundraisers, and a bank account filled with medical expense funds and letters from loved ones.

"Everybody was there for everybody, but I never dreamed that there was this much support," McDonald said.

McDonald said they're not sure when Chris will get to come home from the burn unit, but he said he does his best to smile through the pain.

"Is he feeling hopeful? Oh yes, yes," McDonald said.

A fundraiser will be held for Chris Vannoy at the Whataburger in Henderson on September 18 from 5-8 p.m. One hundred percent of the proceeds made on that day will go to him and his medical expenses.

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