NOEL, Mo. — A local fire fighter continues his recovery from injuries sustained in a fire last week.
Barrett was trying to put out the fire at African Market and Mosque in Noel, but while he was entering the building a beam fell on top of his head leaving him with three compression fractures on his vertebrae. Barrett says he remembers going into the building, but doesn’t remember anything else until they were putting him on a gurney on the sidewalk.
Blake Barrett Fire Captain, said, “It’s very fulfilling when you get to help people in that way and this is just a minor set back.”
When buildings on Noel’s Main Street suddenly caught fire last week, fire departments from Pineville, Anderson, Southwest City, Sulphur Springs, and Arkansas Fire Departments came out to help.
“It was very stressful at the beginning part of it with the front door being locked and forcing the front door to where we can move in and try to attack the fire in building number one and then from there it from the Fire Chief pulling us out of building one due to the deteriorating roof conditions and then we moved to a defensive strategy on building number one and tried to aggressively stop the fire down Main Street.”
“I have what is called a compression fracture in my t-5, 7, and 8. It’s just where the pressure compression your bone and then it just fractures.”
Barrett was one of many that tried to put out the fire and didn’t expect what could happen.
“We’re making entry for the overall stage in that fire on main street and one of the beams that supported the building on the second floor fell and struck me in the head.”
If it wasn’t for his helmet, the burning beam that fell on him could have taken his life or paralyzed him.
“It saved my life wearing the proper PPE, just wearing your equipment that’s provided for em’ just continue to wear it even if you get tired, that you hate wearing it all that time keep it on cause anything can happen that whole time.”
His friends and family are relieved he is recovering.
Brandon Barrett, Fire Chief, said, “It’s hard to watch him you know. You know he’s always the guy, he always jumps in if I’m picking something up or I’m doing something he’s like I’ll take care of it so he’s kinda like the- kinda like my right hand you know and when’s he’s down it’s hard to see him struggling. You know no one wants to see there kid struggle. You know but it’s it’s tough to see him hurt.”
Barrett hasn’t been back to work since the fire happened and won’t be back on duty for 8 to 10 weeks unless a neurosurgeon says otherwise. Chief Barrett still has no further information on how the fire started but the investigation continues.
He’s just thankful his son, and fellow firefighter, is alive.