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FF Thrown 30ft In Explosion; Breaks Back, Neck

FF Thrown 30ft In Explosion; Breaks Back, Neck

The Cape Cod Times via YellowBrix

June 02, 2010

SANDWICH – Daniel Keane, one of two Sandwich firefighters injured yesterday fighting a house fire is reported in stable condition at Cape Cod Hospital this morning.

Keane, a firefighter/paramedic, has a broken neck and a broken back. Yesterday Sandwich fire Capt. James Huska said doctors were watching for signs of paralysis, but Keane was moving his toes.

An updated condition on Lee Burrill, also a firefighter/paramedic, was not immediately available this morning. Burrill was taken to a Boston hospital for treatment of a badly fractured ankle, according to a fire department spokesman.

The two men were injured when an explosion inside a house at 15 Open Trail Road sent them flying backward, breaking through deck railings. They landed about 30 to 40 feet from the doorway where they had been standing with a hose, fighting back the fire that eventually destroyed the house.

According to Huska, the two men were the first at the scene. An arriving crew had to drag the two away from the fire and they were forced to lie on the ground for 15 minutes until mutual aid arrived to get them to the hospital.

Huska blamed understaffing for the injuries to the two firefighters and the loss of the home. He said the firefighters were not able to get enough water on the fire to put it out quickly.