Months After Falling Through Roof of Burning Home, Fresno Firefighter’s Condition Continues to Improve

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Almost four months after falling through the roof of a home that was engulfed in flames, a Fresno firefighter appeared at a Friday news conference where doctors gave an update on his recovery.

Capt. Pete Dern of the Fresno Fire Department was ventilating the roof of the burning garage March 29 when it collapsed and he fell inside. Bystanders captured harrowing video of flames erupting into the air after the fall.

Dern’s fellow firefighters removed the garage door and extracted him from the inferno within minutes. The 25-year-veteran suffered second- and third-degree burns to 65 percent to 75 percent of his body and was hospitalized in critical condition, the Fire Department said.

On Friday, accompanied by his wife, daughter and colleagues, Dern walked slowly to a conference table that was set up in a courtyard at Community Medical Centers. With both hands heavily bandaged, he spoke to reporters about his road to recovery.

“I appreciate all of the support from everybody,” Dern said. “I’m just here today to tell you I’m feeling pretty good.”


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