Firefighter Talks About Falling Through Floor During Overnight Blaze
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials have called the fire sparked at an auto shop in Salt Lake City suspicious. As crews were fighting the flames, one firefighter fell through the second floor.
The fire broke out overnight Thursday at the vacant shop, located at 945 South 300 West. Investigators with the Salt Lake City Fire Department said they believed the fire was intentionally lit.
Firefighter Justin Batty was working on the second floor when the floor gave was and he fell.
Batty told KSL he wasn’t hurt, but his experience proves the danger of a firefighter’s duty – even if he says he was just doing his job.
#EXCLUSIVE Something you’ll only see on @KSL5TV, this @slcfire fighter fell through the 2nd floor of an auto shop while fighting a fire overnight. His 😁 gives away that he wasn’t hurt, but hear firsthand what happened and who he’s thankful for tonight. WATCH #KSLTV at 6pm. pic.twitter.com/Qzk9VAgB8G
— Caitlin Burchill (@newsyCaitlin) December 14, 2018
“They had gotten the fire out fast, or otherwise it could have been a lot worse when I fell into that,” Batty said,
He credited his fellow firefighters with putting the flames out quickly and getting to his location.
“Me and my partner were asked to go in and overhaul, as well as assess how much smoke and stuff was still on the second level,” he said.
That’s when things changed for Batty in a blink of an eye.
“(I) caught myself, initially, kind of with my arms and my elbows, and in that split second, felt the floor give again and went all the way down to the first level,” he said.
Batty was able to walk out of the building on his own.
“When it actually happened, no I wasn’t ready for it, but at no point did I feel like I was helpless or hopeless. I knew my guys that were right behind me and would do whatever it took to get me out,” he said.
Just hours later, Batty was back to work.
“Uh huh. Business as usual,” said Batty laughing. “Funny thing is, we actually trained on firefighter rescue just a week ago, and it seems like these things happen immediately after you have that training.”
He said he was thankful the city takes safety so seriously, and his family is thankful he’s okay.
“I called my wife early, first thing this morning. As soon as I saw it was on the news I was like, ‘I better call my wife and let her know that was me and that I’m doing okay,’” said Batty.
Investigators were still working to find clues about who may have started the fire.
Anyone with information has been asked to call the Salt Lake City Fire Department.
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