ST. LOUIS – Two firefighters were treated for injuries and released after falling more than 15 feet through a stairwell and into a basement while battling a fire in south St. Louis Thursday morning.
The firefighters landed on live wires after their fall and were shocked.
A third firefighter was also treated after coming into contact with live wires, according to the St. Louis Fire Department.
The fire occurred around 7 a.m. near the intersection of Eichelberger and Wherry. The department says the house was unoccupied and the fire was extinguished.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said training prepared his team for the stair collapse, which took down two firefighters at first.
“They have to be aware of where they’re at inside the building at all times, in case something goes wrong," Jenkerson said. “They operate as a team. When certain things go wrong, they’re trained and ready to go to help people get out of the building. We have a RIT team – A Rapid Intervention Team – on site at all times in case something goes wrong. Their only job is to go in and get these firefighters that are trapped, out.”
Jenkerson said they were lucky firefighters only suffered the injuries they did, but said trining plays a big part as well.
“When I was talking today to some of the other firefighters in the building, we go "Oh, we got lucky again today," and we did. But we get lucky because of how much we train and how good they are at what we do.”