Tyler firefighters avoid injury after falling through floor of burning abandoned building, rescue several occupants
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler firefighters avoided serious injury and were able to rescue several people when a floor collapsed at a fire in a vacant downtown building on Wednesday morning.
Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley said the building, once known as the Tysen House and used by the Salvation Army as an 83-room hotel for the homeless, was supposed to be vacant but had occupants inside. The building is located at the corner of East Erwin Street and Thompson Street. The portion which collapsed was a 10-foot deep pit, Findley said. Findley said four firefighters fell through the floor and into the pit, which was filled with water. The fire marshal said the firefighters had to swim to get out of the pit and added that a mayday was called.
Firefighters used a ladder to help occupants out of the second floor. One of the occupants was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.
While no firefighters were injured, a few had to receive oxygen after getting out of the building.
Findley said damage was contained to the second floor of the building, but smoke spread throughout. There were numerous hazards inside the building for firefighters, but they focused on getting everyone out, Findley said.
The call came in just after 10 a.m.
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