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Firefighters attempting rescue become trapped in burning building

A Friday evening lightning strike turned a quiet, residential block into the scene of the biggest emergency Florence ...

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 6:42 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2018 6:42 PM

A Friday evening lightning strike turned a quiet, residential block into the scene of the biggest emergency Florence firefighters have faced in over a decade, Fire Chief Scott Knoll said Monday.

"It's probably the most stressful situation you can imagine," he said.

Firefighters entered the burning townhome on Taramore Drive Friday night in search of residents who had been reported missing in the immediate aftermath of the lightning strike.

In reality, no one was home, and two of the firefighters who entered the building to search for them became trapped on the second floor. As they tried to leave, a portion of the roof collapsed.

"When it did, it obviously caused quite a bit of confusion," Knoll said. "One firefighter believed the other one was still behind them (and) continued on out the building, exactly how they were trained to do. When they got to the balcony and made their way down, we realized the other firefighter was not with him."

That firefighter, a captain, freed himself from debris but did not realize his companion was already outside, Knoll said. He searched the burning building before realizing he was the only one remaining inside.

"Everybody was involved the whole time," said Terry Reindollar, who witnessed the incident. "I'm really glad no one was hurt."

So was Knoll, he said. His team had received training to deal with similar situations just a month earlier, and he believes that training helped them escape safely.

"Obviously, we've seen what happens when that doesn't work out that way," he said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 541339

Reported Deaths: 10021
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2012004869
Riverside39741770
Orange38711697
San Bernardino34635490
San Diego31127583
Kern21724152
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
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Tulare10334196
Imperial9601240
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Contra Costa8532134
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San Francisco722863
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5891120
Marin519978
Monterey512035
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma320842
Madera220836
San Luis Obispo204716
Placer203920
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12134
Butte10608
Napa10259
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6330
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3614
Glenn3523
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2122
Amador1560
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou900
Inyo841
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hi: 95° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 86°
Oroville
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Feels Like: 86°
Paradise
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Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
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Clear
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Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 78°
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Willows
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Hi: 98° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Slightly warmer but mostly below average temperatures, and the potential for mountain thunderstorms are on the way in your Friday forecast. Get ready for much hotter temperatures on the way for your weekend.
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