Nashville firefighter in critical condition after house fire - WSMV News 4

Nashville firefighter in critical condition after house fire

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Firefighter David Powell Firefighter David Powell
Capt. James Trollinger Capt. James Trollinger

Two firefighters were hurt working to put out a fire in East Nashville on Thursday night.

Tonight one remains in the hospital while the other is home.

This comes as the firefighters' union works to stop Metro from cutting pay for firefighters who have been hurt on the job.

Shattered glass from a window alerted neighbors that something was wrong at the Airpark Drive home.

Lance Warren ran outside to find the house next door on fire.

"That back bedroom was engulfed in flames," said Warren. "I ran around the side of the house to make sure no one was home."

Warren said luckily no one was home.

Firefighters quickly worked to put out the flames.

When firefighters were inside the home, the unthinkable happened. Two of their own got hurt.

James Trollinger, 61, received burns to his face while David Powell, 56, was found unconscious.

A spokesperson for the fire department said Powell was attempting to leave the home to replace his oxygen tank, which was empty, when he fell down a flight of stairs, which left him in the basement with no air.

Capt. Dale Pickens works with Powell on Engine 18.

He said when word spread that Powell was in critical condition, it put the risk of the job into perspective.

"It's family. You work with these guys for 24 hours at a time for years and years," said Pickens. "You eat with them, sleep with them, joke with them. You know your family inside and out like they know yours."

Currently the firefighters' union said a proposal is set to go before the Civil Service Commission that would cut their salary if hurt on the job.

Union President Mark Young said right now a firefighter gets 100 percent of their pay if they get hurt, but the proposal would cut that to just more than 66 percent.

"We have firefighters that are out every day, saving lives, putting their lives on the line for the community and Nashville," said Young. "Metro needs to step back and re-think this policy."

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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