Moffett volunteer firefighters suffer injuries battling fire in Lufkin woods
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - At least two firefighters were injured Tuesday as the Moffett VFD was called out to help battle a large fire in the woods.
Volunteers spent two hours trying to put out the fire before the Texas Forest Service arrived to assist.
“Several of our members went around to the far edge of the fire,” said Moffett VFD President Richard Brunk. “After some time the fire chief became, overcome with what we don’t know, and he was transported to the hospital.”
Brunk said Chief Eddie Sweet has been with the department since 2004. The longest serving member suffered a respiratory burn. He was taken to Woodlands Heights Hospital with his wife, Marie Sweet and his sister Holly Klock following right behind.
Fire department volunteers themselves, Brunk said both of the women became ill while waiting in emergency room.
All three were Life Flighted to Memorial Hermann in Houston.
In most structure fires, firefighters wear a breathing apparatus with a mask to protect themselves from the smoke.
“Although they had protective clothing on, they didn’t have protective breathing apparatus because one, the mask obscures your vision and makes it more dangerous to walk through the wooded area to put the fire out,” said Brunt.
Brunt says today the Sweet’s are now off the ventilator while Klock is still on a ventilator and may be suffering additional medical issues.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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