How did firefighters survive this fiery dust explosion?
Published Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:02PM PDT
Three firefighters that were engulfed by flames while battling a blaze at a B.C. furniture plant may have miraculously escaped injury thanks to what they were wearing.
A giant dust explosion occurred when wood dust ignited – sending flames shooting metres forward towards crews trying to extinguish the fire.
Vancouver Fire Captain Jonathan Gormick says the men are "very lucky" and owe their lives to their protection gear.
He says an abrasion-proof layer on the outside of their gear stops it from being penetrated, ripped or compromised in any way.
"On the very inside is a thermal layer that's quilted and heavy and rather than keeping heat in its trying to keep heat out," he said. "It's also why the gear is so hot to wear."
But it's the lightest item that likely saved the Abbotsford crews from serious injury.
"We've started to wear flame-proof balaclavas that seal our face and protect our neck the back of our neck and all around our face piece from flame and heat," he said.
Amazingly, the three firefighters swallowed up by the fiery explosion kept working and brought the fire under control.
"I think that speaks to the tenacity of firefighters," said Gormick.
"I hope they dusted themselves off. No pun intended."