JFRD: Jacksonville firefighter suffers first and second degree burns while battling house fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — JFRD Chief Keith Powers says a firefighter suffered first and second degree burns to his upper body Thursday while battling a house fire on Jacksonville’s Northside.

The injured firefighter, who’s been with JFRD for about two years, was taken to the UF Shands Burn Unit in Gainesville, FL.

JFRD says the injured firefighter’s identity is not being released at this time due to HIPAA.

RELATED: Jacksonville firefighter sustained major burns, taken to UF Gainesville

Fire crews responded to calls of a house fire on Restlawn Drive around 2 p.m.

“When the crew arrived on scene there was a bystander telling them that there was somebody inside, and immediately they went into action to get in there and find that person and try to give them the best chance of survival,” said Powers.

Powers says crews cleared the house and found no one inside. JFRD says two people who live in the home are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

JFRD tells Action News Jax the firefighter suffered first degree burns to his arms, and second degree burns to his wrist, shoulders, ears, and neck.

Powers says the injured firefighter was operating the fire hose. He tells Action News Jax they believe the burns were caused by steam.

“The wrist area of our bunker gear is one our thinnest areas, obviously for dexterity reasons. A lot of times when water gets on the fire it turns to steam and that steam’s able to get through the small porous areas of our bunker gear,” said Powers.

He says doctors found the burns to the firefighter’s wrist the most concerning.

“That involves some dexterity so the doctors felt like the best thing they could do is get him [to the UF Shands Burn Unit in Gainesville],” said Powers.

President of The Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, Randy Wyse, says they’ve been in contact with the injured firefighter and his family.

Local News: Lake City Middle School teacher fired, accused of abusing a disabled student

“That’s really our main focus, is to make sure that obviously that the firefighter’s okay,” said Wyse.

State fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire. Powers says the firefighter is expected to make a full recovery.

“The men and women of this department are extraordinary in what they do. They’re willing to risk it all to save one of our citizens,” said Powers.