PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) – A firefighter who’s being hailed as a hero for evacuating a building before a powerful gas explosion in a popular Portland shopping district says the blast threw him up to 20 feet.
“Next thing I knew there was an explosion from the basement all the way to the third floor, each level just went off simultaneously but there was a little delay between each one,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Peter St. John.
St. John said he blacked out after the blast and woke up in pain.
“And then I looked at my right leg, I knew it was broken right away and called a ‘mayday,’ just trying to get crews to me, I didn’t know what else to do, I was just stuck,” said the 7-year PF&R veteran.
Both of his legs were broken. Fortunately, Engine 3 Firefighter-Paramedic Bret Kimple, was there to protect and treat his Lieutenant, despite being injured himself.