HOUSTON – Two Houston firefighters were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital after they experienced injuries while battling a three-alarm fire at an apartment complex Monday afternoon in southeast Houston, officials said.
The fire was reported around 5:50 p.m. in the 8200 block of Broadway Street near Hobby Airport.
Officials said one of the firefighters was taken to a nearby hospital after being pinned between and engine and a district chief vehicle, while another firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation. Two mayday calls also were sent out involving two crews that got separated fighting the fire, officials said.
A source within the department said the firefighter who was hit was at the back of an SUV retrieving his air pack and noticed an engine start moving forward. He thought the driver was just moving the engine into a better parking position. He looked back and it not only did not stop -- it pinned his legs between the engine and SUV.
The firefighter said he yelled out and other firefighters came running and had to move the SUV forward and the engine itself still was moving forward.
"The parking brake either was not engaged or there may have been system failure," said Assistant Chief Michael Mire. "That's something that we're going to have to look into."
“There is an extreme level of focus that stimulated once the firefighters hear a mayday,” Mire said. “Our primary focus at that point is to keep the fire at bay so we can control the incident and rescue our firefighter.”
It is unknown what caused the fire that displaced dozens of residents. The Red Cross tells Channel 2 that at least 70 apartment units were without power due to the fire. Three units were directly impacted by the flames. No residents were injured, but many were displaced. Houston firefighters said they estimated about 250 people that needed a place to stay Monday night.