- Associated Press - Thursday, August 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - A probationary firefighter has been hit by a firetruck and critically injured while responding to a blaze in Washington.

Officials said 28-year-old Firefighter Dane Smothers Jr. had just gotten off a truck at the scene of a rowhouse fire in the Capitol Hill area early Thursday when he was hit by an arriving ladder truck. Fire and EMS Assistant Chief Craig Baker said at a news conference that Smothers was preparing hose lines and other equipment when he was hit.

In a statement, Mayor Muriel Bowser says officials are investigating the incident. She says it’s a reminder “of the bravery and dedication of our first responders.”

Fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo says Smothers is a probationary firefighter who has been with the department for three months.

In a statement released by officials, Smothers‘ family asked people to respect its privacy and keep him in their prayers.

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