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Two firefighters were rushed to the hospital after sustaining injuries while extinguishing a warehouse fire in Columbus, Ga., the Ledger-Enquirer reported. The firefighters were identified as David Smith and Chris Burris. Burris was treated for second-degree burns and was soon released, while Smith was treated for second-degree burns and underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle.
The fire occurred at the Burnham warehouse on the night of May 24, and fire crews reported to the scene at approximately 10:22 p.m. The building was around 100 years old, which posed significant risks to first responders. At least 25 firefighters and 12 units were on the scene, and it was after midnight before the blaze was suppressed. It is unclear if industrial fire alarms, which alert individuals to evacuate structures, were installed in the warehouse.
Three firefighters were on the loading dock when an explosion occurred, sending them off their feet and to the ground. Two of these firefighters were Smith and Burris, who were then immediately taken to a nearby hospital. The fire, which destroyed the warehouse, also temporarily shut down rail services on the Norfolk-Southern rail line.
The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.
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