Firefighter airlifted after falling down elevator shaft in Bal Harbour

BAL HARBOUR, FLA. (WSVN) - A firefighter is recovering in the hospital after he had to be airlifted following a fall down an elevator shaft in Bal Harbour.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to a call about a man stuck in an elevator at the Bal Harbour Shops, located at 9700 Collins Ave, just after 7:30 a.m., Tuesday.

Rescue officials said one of the responding firefighters, later identified as David Gonzalez, was injured in a long fall, although it remains unclear how the incident occurred.

7SkyForce HD captured the firefighter from Station 76, who has been with MDFR for 18 years, being wheeled into the air rescue helicopter.

He arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center and underwent surgery for traumatic injuries.

“I can tell you there will be some sort of subsequent investigation to determine what occurred,” said Bal Harbour Police Chief Raleigh Flowers. “It’s going to be a joint effort with state agencies, with the fire department and our police department.”

As of 9:30 p.m., the firefighter is out of surgery, is being cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit and is listed in serious but stable condition, fire officials said.

“We’re concerned because he fell down an elevator shaft,” Flowers said. “When we have an officer, whether it’s an officer or a firefighter or first responder injured, and particularly because of the relationship we have with this particular fire station, it hits home for us, and that’s why we’re here: to show support.”

“Just appears that something transpired and fell several feet in an elevator shaft,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan R. Cominsky said. “Our crews acted swiftly and obviously a very difficult situation. We transported the individual, our fellow brother, here to this facility.”

Fellow first responders and Flowers were seen making their way to the hospital to show their support for the firefighter.

“We’re all devastated,” Cominsky said. “I mean, this is the most difficult situation in my job, knowing, you know, one of our individuals are hurt, and so obviously, we’re doing our best to [have the firefighter] in the best hands and taken care of and hopefully, a speedy recovery. This is very difficult, so we have to keep him in our prayers and assist the family.”

A MDFR representative has thanked the community for the outpouring of support for the injured firefighter.

The incident remains under investigation.

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