2 Deer Creek firefighters injured fighting grass fire

2 Deer Creek firefighters injured fighting grass fire

3 February 2009

published by newsok.com

USA — Two Deer Creek firefighters injured while fighting a grass fire Sunday were home Monday recovering from first- and second-degree burns.

Deer CreekCaptain Kelly Lewis, also a major on theEdmond Fire Department, received first- and second-degree burns. Lewis volunteers for the Deer Creek Fire Protection District, saidEric Harlow, Deer Creek’s assistant chief.

Lewis, a long-term resident of the Deer Creek andEdmond area, has volunteered as a Deer Creek firefighter for 15 years.

Firefighter MichaelMontgomery received first-degree burns to his face and neck.

Montgomery has been with Deer Creek for a year, but has been fighting fires more than 10 years.

Harlow said, “It’s an unthinkable, gut-wrenching feeling to hear that any firefighter is burned, let alone your own guys.”

The firefighters were trying to save a structure in the fire’s path Sunday north of Crescent.

The fire intensified rapidly, overcoming the pair and their vehicle and engulfing them in flames, Harlow aid. Witnesses reported the wall of flames went more than 20 feet into the air.

A 2008 brush pumper unit damaged in the fire was in the body shop Monday morning.

“It can be fixed,” Harlow said. “I hope to have it up and running in less than a month.”

The fire started Saturday, but rekindled Sunday morning. Crescent fire officials called for Deer Creek and other nearby fire departments.

More than 2,000 acres burned. The fire started from a controlled burn that got out of control Saturday from the strong winds. The fire was under control by 10 p.m. Sunday, fire officials said.

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division officials were expected to be in the area Monday using heavy earth-moving equipment to plow a firebreak around the area to contain any additional flare ups, Harlow said.

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