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Captain Shane Boswell Talks About S. Elm Street Fire

11:38 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro Fire Captain Shane Boswell is one of the four firefighters who was injured after responding to the fire at Knights Auto on South Elm Street, on Thursday.

Captain Boswell and his crew were only in the building for a couple minutes before the roof collapsed.

He spoke to WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower about what happened inside the building.

"When it gave way, I mean it was instant. I never heard nothing, there was no warning, no nothing it was just instant for us," explained Captain Shane Boswell, Greensboro Fire Department.

The 22-year GFD veteran says when the roof fell, it felt like a 12-foot giant hit him in the back with a sledge-hammer.

"I'd seen where the steel girders going across, they were just glowing to me I was like something aint right. And when I turned, I turned back towards where Firefighter Clapp was at, that's when the roof gave way," explained Captain Boswell.

"It was self-survival, it was 'I'm in a bad situation and I've got to get out.'"

He says the training the fire department provides is the reason they were able to get out of the building.

He added, "I took a breath, realized I was breathing smoke so whatever came down on top of us came on top of us, it knocked my air pack to the side  I showed the mask back on, got air back on me, grabbed my helmet and whatever I was under, tried to push myself out from underneath."

Boswell pushed the burning support beam off his body and found an opening in the debris to climb through. His 14-year-old son is a fire explorer and was watching outside the building.

"That source of strength was knowing that my son was outside knowing, I didn't want to see dad getting pulled out of a building," said Boswell. "I wanted to not be in there."

On Friday, Captain Boswell visited Captain Sterling Suddarth at Baptist Medical Center and went back to the fire scene.

READ: Sign Get Well Card for Captain Suddarth

"That was good for me because when I seen him before, things wasn't so good," said Boswell. "But going back to the fire scene and seeing what we were in, and what had happened, you know gave me even more perspective of what could have happened."

Amazingly, Captain Boswell only had minor injuries. He said he wants to be back at work "as soon as possible."

READ: Fire on Elm Street Ruled Accidental

WFMY News 2

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