A twelvemonth agone this week, Los Angeles Fire Captain Victor Aguirre was the past to permission the infirmary aft an explosive occurrence astatine a gathering successful downtown LA injured him and astir a twelve different firefighters.
Hazardous materials stored successful the gathering were chartless to the unit putting retired the flames that day.
"We got fortunate that time that we didn't suffer 11 firefighters," helium said.
The NBC4 I-Team talked with the skipper and his household to find retired details astir that day, his amazing recovery and however we tin each larn from his endurance story.
"It didn't consciousness real," helium said, shaking his head. "I conscionable thought, 'Wait, this is not truly happening."
He said helium thought helium was going to dice portion trying to evacuate erstwhile the occurrence got retired of control. He was astatine the apical of the motor ladder.
"I was wholly connected fire," helium said. "I was a large fireball. And I looked to my close and I thought, 'What? Please, stop, idiosyncratic crook this off.'"
He wasn't adjacent expected to beryllium moving that Saturday, May 16, 2020. It was not his regular enactment day.
And, helium remembers it was a unusual time from the start.
He says helium wore a agelong sleeve occurrence protective undershirt alternatively of his accustomed abbreviated sleeves. He refused to spell to the infirmary aft an wounded astatine different occurrence earlier the aforesaid greeting wherever helium was deed successful the caput by a escaped cable.
"I was wearing my helmet and my limb and threw maine astir 5 feet and I landed astir a mates inches from falling disconnected the roof," helium said.
He past responded to the Boyd Street fire wherever helium says his gear, grooming and reviewing information exercises with chap firefighters that greeting helped prevention his life. It's believed nitrous oxide, butane, and different materials stored wrong the gathering exploded.
"If we were delayed conscionable a fewer much seconds past a batch much of america would person been conscionable arsenic atrocious arsenic I was," helium said. "I did suffer a batch of my tips of my fingers and a batch of my bones due to the fact that they conscionable couldn't salvage the burnt bones."
More than 300 charges person been filed successful transportation with a gathering occurrence and detonation successful downtown L.A. that near astir a twelve firefighters injured successful May. NBC4 I-Team Investigator Eric Leonard reports Aug. 21, 2020.
And now, time by day, helium is inactive recovering. His therapy dog, Hank, helps him with the regular carnal and intelligence challenges.
"It's tough," helium said. "That is the biggest portion of this is accepting the that I mightiness person to unrecorded with a disability.
"I deliberation conscionable small by little, I've been conscionable accepting it and larn however to unrecorded with it, and unrecorded a amended productive life."
And it is his household that keeps him going. He remembers reasoning of his wife, Claudia, son, Tristan and daughter, Celeste during the worst moments of the fire.
"I felt similar I was leaving. I felt similar I was lasting up and past I retrieve seeing that had a flash representation of my wife, my son, my daughter," helium said
His wife, Claudia, says conscionable holding his manus means the satellite to her.
His daughter, Celeste, says he's her inspiration.
"Mentally, emotionally, physically he's pushing done and if helium tin bash it with each this symptom and I tin bash anything."
Dad is besides inspiring their 21-year-old lad who's present grooming to beryllium a firefighter with the LAFD.
"Yes, I fearfulness and not lone fearfulness for my family, but for my friends arsenic well, due to the fact that they are besides my family," Claudia said.
Captain Aguirre says helium is grateful for each minute, of each day.
"And what's next, we proceed to unrecorded beingness the mode we planned connected surviving it," helium said.