Staunton firefighters release new helmet footage from house fire

Published: Apr. 19, 2018 at 11:55 PM EDT
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The Staunton Fire Department released helmet footage that showed exactly what they endured as they rushed to save a man trapped inside a home along North Augusta Street


"It was a three-minute response time from the time it was dispatched to the time they arrived, it was only three minutes," said fire marshal Perry Weller.

Last Thursday, a fire erupted at a house in the 2500 block of Augusta St. in Staunton.

The home was fully involved when Joel Bradley and other fire fighters arrived to the scene.

"TV and movies portray it as we can see everything. You know, it's clear as day on the inside. It's pretty much zero visibility," said Bradley. "It's hot, it's smoky. We don't really know what to prepare for when we're inside, we don't know what to expect. Everybody's house is laid out differently. So just to get them in perspective to what we see."

But that didn't stop Bradley and his fellow fire fighters from saving a man trapped inside the burning building that day.

Weller said it's hours of training that prepare them for nights like that one.

"How to search. We practice a lot of zero visibility searches. Pretty much recreating the situation they found the other day," Weller said.

That practice helped them save the man that was trapped inside, who is now out of the hospital, alive and grateful for their life-saving abilities.

"We took him out of the building and he wasn't able to talk to us. You know, he was unconscious and to be able to do what we did that night and have a happy story, happy ending. And be able to come back and talk to us in the morning. You know, thank us for what we did and tell him that we was doing our jobs," Bradley said.

Crews performed CPR on the man who had been dragged out of the fire. He was then taken to Augusta Health and transported from there to VCU in Richmond for burn treatment, but is home now.

A woman was also in the home that night, but made it outside with no injuries.