Bucket truck catches fire in Hollywood, worker injured

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) — A bucket truck caught fire, Thursday, after possibly coming into contact with a power line, seriously injuring a worker.

The fire broke out behind a shopping center on Taft Street and 72nd Avenue, just after 12 p.m. The worker was inside the fiberglass bucket when the fire ignited.

Officials said the worker, a man between the ages of 35 and 40 years old, was doing electrical work when he somehow made contact with the charged lines. Then, the bucket he was in caught fire. He jumped off but not before sustaining severe burns. "He was burned. His clothes were burned. I mean, this man had to be very, very strong — he was standing there," said witness Vicky Nunez.

Witnesses saw the blaze and rushed to help him. "It’s pretty sad, actually, because it was very difficult getting him out, even with two fire extinguishers," said Sandra Vincent.

The extinguishers came from David Rettig’s vacuum repair shop. "We both put the fire extinguishers on at the same time," Rettig said. "He was just a ball of fire, never seen anything like that in my life."

According to Hollywood Fire Rescue, he suffered second and third degree burns to 65 percent of his body.

He was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital by emergency responders and then transferred to the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami via air rescue.

Many who saw the incident in Hollywood are hoping for the man’s recovery. "We’re praying for him," said Nunez. "We don’t know him, but to see what happened to him, there’s no other thing you can do. You can only pray."

Late Thursday, other crews took the victim’s place to finish the maintenance work.

7News reached out to the company that the man worked with, and they said that they are aware of the situation but declined to comment further.