Two Springfield firefighters injured in blaze at Country Place townhouse

·2 min read
A fire truck
A fire truck

Two Springfield firefighters were treated for injuries in a fire at a townhouse unit on Country Place on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire had engulfed three of the four attached townhouses when fire crews were summoned just after 3 p.m.

Fire Chief Brandon Blough said following Tuesday's Springfield City Council meeting that he had visited both firefighters. One was taken to HSHS St. John's Hospital and the other to Springfield Memorial Hospital.

Over 40 Springfield Fire personnel were involved in fighting the blaze, Blough said, one of the largest contingents going back a decade or more. Nine engines in all were called to the fire, Blough added.

The complex is just off Toronto Road and Interstate 55.

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Blough said both firefighters who were injured were 20-year-plus veterans.

"They knew what they were doing," Blough said. "They knew how to do an emergency escape for themselves."

Both injuries occurred within the first half hour crews were on the scene, he said.

One firefighter had a ceiling collapse on him and had some head and neck issues. Blough said the firefighter was on a staircase and fell down the stairs.

The other firefighter was in a room when a “flashover” occurred, Blough said, meaning a high amount of fire rapidly enveloped the room.

"He got knocked backwards by the heat," Blough said. "There was some almost explosive action when that happens. He held onto the nozzle of the hose, opened it up on the ceiling, got it to cool off a little bit. A lot of times (the room) instantly becomes a 200-degree sauna."

Blough said all of the residents of the four townhouses got to safety. One cat died.

Blough said "a significant portion of the building" was gutted.

Many of the firefighters had been called to a fire earlier Tuesday in the 3000 block of Niccolls Road.

"(Country Place) was our second big fire of the day," Blough said. "A good chunk of those crews had already fought one big fire. They went home, they rinsed off, they changed clothes, they maybe got a sandwich to eat and they were out the door to a second one and the second one was worse than the first."

Both fires were accidental in nature, according to Blough.

This story will be updated.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, sspearie@sj-r.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Springfield firefighters injured in Country Place house fire