MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida firefighter is on the road to recovery after a frightening fall.

7News spoke to the wife and nephew of David Gonzalez, who fell down an elevator shaft in Bal Harbour, Jan. 14.

“We’re very proud of him, you know,” said Alejandra Gonzalez, David’s wife. “This is what he loves to do.”

The veteran firefighter is currently recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“It’s unfortunate that this had to happen,” said Gonzalez, “and it’s not something you prepare for every morning, when you say goodbye in the morning.”

Gonzalez fell several feet after responding to a 911 call about a man stuck in an elevator.

“He broke both legs in several places,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Terrence Dolan. “He broke his shoulder very badly, and he has several injuries to his face, but he’s moving in the right direction on all the injuries, thank God.”

“We’re really glad he didn’t take a turn for the worst,” said Gonzalez.

Dolan and Gonzalez started working for the fire department at the same time nearly 18 years ago.

Gonzalez is Dolan’s uncle.

“He spent his whole career and his whole life, you know, trying to help others,” said Dolan, “so I mean, if he’s gonna get hurt, this is the way he was gonna get hurt.”

Gonzalez’s family is thankful for the support they have been receiving from the public.

“Just finishing a few surgeries, so he has a long road,” said Gonzalez. “I mean, it’s going to be at least a few years down the line, I think.”

Gonzalez’s fellow firefighters and family have not left his side.

“All the love and well wishes from everyone has been amazing, so we’re very proud and I’m very proud to see everyone stepping up and really helping out a fellow brother,” said Dolan.

There still has not been any indication as to how Gonzalez fell.

“We actually still don’t know exactly how it all happened. It’s still being investigated,” said Dolan. “We’re just happy that he’s here with us to fight another day.”

Gonzalez’s family has so far received just over $45,000 in donations via a GoFundMe campaign while the firefighter recovers.

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