Injured firefighter burns hands

COSTA MESA — A firefighter who was injured in a carport blaze is expected to return to work next week, Fire Department officials said Friday.

The firefighter suffered second-degree burns on his hands Thursday when he grabbed a metal post on a chain link fence to get into Costa Mesa's Corp. Yard, 2310 Placentia Ave., said Battalion Chief Bill Kershaw.

The metal post was hot enough to burn through the firefighter's gloves, Kershaw added.

The fire had consumed about six outdoor carports and had heated the nearby fence that firefighters had to break through to get to the flames, he said.

Investigators were still trying to determine a cause for the blaze, but said it was likely accidental and not caused by an electrical malfunction. The fire caused about $125,000 in damages to the property.

The yard is next door to one of the city's fire stations. Firefighters were about to begin training when they noticed the smoke and got the emergency call as they began to respond on their own. It took firefighters about 25 minutes to get the fire under control.

The group had to use a backhoe to pull out more hotspots from the carport because the roof wasn't supported enough to let firefighters go inside and battle the flames, Kershaw said.

Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley firefighters assisted. In all, about 34 firefighters were on scene.

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