- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

MACON, Ga. (AP) - A firefighter in central Georgia was killed when he fell through the floor of a burning home in a blaze that also left five other firefighters injured.

Macon-Bibb County Lt. Randy Parker, 46, died Wednesday night after the blaze in southern Bibb County, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

Firefighters arrived at the home to find it engulfed in flames and a group of them went inside, authorities said.

The floor collapsed and several firefighters fell into the basement, said Chris Floore, a spokesman for the Macon-Bibb County government.

Five other firefighters were taken to a hospital, The Telegraph newspaper of Macon reported (https://bit.ly/1MfzFWJ ).

Battalion Chief Steven Stafford, 59, was flown to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

Firefighters Adam Mitchie, 34; and Ferrell Cromer, 46, were taken by ambulance to the Augusta hospital, Jones said.

Two of the three taken to Augusta are being treated for smoke inhalation, and the other for smoke inhalation and burns on his hand, authorities said.

Two other firemen — Matt Couey, 27, and Ben Bollinger, 28 — were listed in stable condition at the Medical Center in Macon, Jones said.

The homeowners were able to get out of their brick home unharmed, authorities said.

District Chief Nathaniel Hall said the loss weighs heavy on the entire department.

“This is just a terrible thing,” Hall told the Macon newspaper Thursday morning. “We’re just trying to come to grips with it.”

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the blaze. The federal assistance is routine when a firefighter is killed, said Sgt. Ben Gleaton, a Macon-Bibb fire investigator.

As word spread of accident, off-duty firefighters rushed to the scene to relieve those who were fighting the fire, Hall told The Telegraph.

“We’re such a family. We put our lives on the line every day,” he said. “We don’t want to take for granted what we do, but we’re survivors. We’re running in when everyone else is running out.”


Information from: The Macon Telegraph, https://www.macontelegraph.com

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