- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two fire trucks responding to a call collided at a downtown intersection Thursday, injuring nine firefighters, one seriously.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said none of the injuries appeared life-threatening after the crash, which involved a ladder truck and a fire engine in a residential neighborhood.

The most seriously injured firefighter, ladder truck Lt. Richard Prather, was knocked unconscious and had to be cut from the wreckage.

Ayers said he spoke at a hospital with Prather, whose first question was, “How’s my guys?”

The ladder truck and the fire engine had been speeding along perpendicular streets before they slammed into each other. The ladder truck then spun off and smashed into a utility pole, caving in one of its sides, while the fire engine clattered into the back of a parked car.

No other injuries were reported, but a woman inside a flower shop nearly struck by the ladder truck was taken to a hospital for observation because she was shaken up, Ayers said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Four other fire trucks made it to the two-story home where the fire was reported and extinguished the flames.

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