Firefighter recovering after falling off ladder during warehouse fire

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida firefighter was injured, Friday morning, after falling nearly 20 feet from a ladder that was being used to control a warehouse fire in Pompano Beach.

Friday evening, the yellow caution tape remained in place at the commercial warehouse located at 319 S.W. 14th Ave.

According to Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, a “two-alarm fire” broke out and began to burn through the roof of the structure, just before 10:30 a.m.

That is when a Pompano Beach firefighter went down about two stories. Officials said the fire traveled up into the attic and roof area of the warehouse, which made it difficult for firefighters to attack.

Cellphone video shows the moment the firefighter fell. It appears that when the firefighter opened the nozzle on the hose, the pressure from the water sent him and the ladder sideways.

Witness Lou Denkin saw the dramatic moment unfold. “He opened his valve a little too quickly, and he fell over, off onto the roof, from the roof to the ground,” he said.

The firefighter was transported to Broward Health North where he is being treated. Officials said he is expected to make a full recovery.

“Not life-threatening injuries, but we’re certainly getting him checked out,” said Pompano Beach spokesperson Sandra King.

“He was fine after a few minutes,” said Denkin. “They put him on a stretcher and took him away.”

No one else was hurt.

Surrounding roads were temporarily closed off.

The fire has since been placed under control. 7Skyforce HD captured the charred roof after crews put out the flames.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but an employee at the warehouse told 7News a vacuum cleaner is to blame. “I guess they were vacuuming out a car inside, and the vacuum shorted out and flipped the car on fire, and then the gas tank went and everything exploded,” said John Luger.

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