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Video Captures Roof Collapse That Drops Firefighter Into A Blaze

A video shot by an eyewitness in Fresno, California shows the moment a garage roof collapsed beneath a firefighter, engulfing him in the flames below. The firefighter was badly burned, and is in a critical condition.

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A firefighter is in a critical condition and has been left with serious burns over much of his body after falling through the roof of a burning home in Fresno, California, on Sunday, officials told ABC30.

The horrifying moment the firefighter — a 25-year veteran who has yet to be publicly identified — plunged into the inferno was captured on video by Sooji Lee, who lives near the property on Cortland and Del Mar avenues in Fresno.

The firefighter climbed onto the roof of the building's garage in an attempt to ventilate the blaze, which broke out 1:30 p.m. local time, NBC News said.

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But the roof gave way, dropping the firefighter into the blaze below.

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He was engulfed by towering flames, prompting distressed screams from bystanders.

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Colleagues rushed to the firefighter's aid, battering the garage door down to rescue him.

Sooji Lee/Facebook / Via Facebook: video.php

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Todd Tuggle said the "sounds from the public were traumatizing in and of themselves. We could hear people screaming. We could hear people running in, trying to help," ABC30 reported.

Eventually, he was pulled from the blaze and was rushed to hospital, where doctors said he was burned over 65% of his body, 40% of which were third degree burns, NBC News reported. He was in surgery Sunday night.

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Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis said, "his burns were on his hands, around his face. He did have his mask intact. There were some other burns on his back, around his legs, so they're pretty much in all areas of his body," ABC30 reported.

After the incident, Fresno Fire Department tweeted a message thanking people for their support.

Thanks to all who have reached out to FFD. This is a difficult time for all of us and our thoughts and prayers are w/our FF and his family.

Speaking to reporters, fire chief Donis described the firefighter involved in the incident as a "seasoned captain," NBC News reported.

The fire department added: "Fresno Firefighters have pulled together in this tragic time and are fully supporting the firefighter's family in their time of need."

Lee, who captured the video, said: "I almost had an anxiety attack because we didn't know what was going to happen. I honestly didn't think he was going to make it," according to ABC30.

Lee's full video, which she uploaded to her Facebook page, can be seen here.

Sooji Lee/Facebook / Via Facebook: video.php

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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