Firefighter seriously injured in building collapse shows steady improvement
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The firefighter who was seriously injured when stairs collapsed Monday in a building under construction is steadily improving but remains hospitalized.
Tuesday, West Valley City Fire Department updated the condition of the crew hurt, including a 36-year-old captain / paramedic who has “multiple broken bones and other injuries” according the the WVC Fire Department Twitter account.
The fire department originally reported three firefighters and a construction worker were injured in a collapse at 1770 W., 4100 South Monday afternoon. Tuesday it said four rescuers were hurt, in addition to the original victim.
“A woman was reported to have fallen a pretty good distance, some estimates are as much as two stories,” West Valley City Deputy Communications Director Roxeanne Vainuku said.
She said the employee had been working on scaffolding on the outside of the six-story tall building at the time, but she wasn’t sure how high up.
Firefighters loaded the worker onto a gurney and were bringing her down an interior staircase when it collapsed. The firefighters and patient fell that final story to the floor.
It was the captain who suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries. A helicopter transported him to the hospital where he remains. He’s been with the West Jordan Fire Department for 13 years.
A 40-year-old senior firefighter and paramedic were treated and released from a hospital for widespread severe bruising and pain. He’s been with the department for nine years.
Also treated and released was a 27-year-old firefighter who has been with the department for four years. He sprained an ankle. A 24-year-old firefighter was also released from the hospital with widespread bruising and pain. He joined the department three-and-a-half years ago.
Vainuku said that the rescued woman has broken bones and abrasions. As of last night, she was still in the hospital.
UPDATE: Firefighters injured during yesterday’s stair collapse. There are four in total:
36yo Captain/Paramedic, 13 years at WVC. Multiple broken bones and other injuries. Flown to hospital. Remains hospitalized.
— WVC Fire Department (@wvcfd) July 12, 2022
The fire department did not release any of the firefighters’ names.
Vainuku said the West Valley City building inspector and OSHA were on scene Monday night investigating how the staircase collapsed.
“These folks go in to help someone else out,” Vainuku said, “and it is tragic to see that not only was that person further injured in this fall, but also our firefighters who were trying to rescue this person were actually injured as well.”
The incident remains under investigation.
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