A dramatic video from rural Nova Scotia shows a firefighter getting jolted by a live power line while battling a blaze. Luckily, he escaped without serious injury.
TJ Foley was fighting a house fire in the area of Windsor, N.S. with the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department early Sunday morning when he got too close to a downed power line.
The incident, which was partially caught on video, shows what happened immediately after Foley stepped in a puddle not far from a downed powerline that led to the burning house.
“The line had arced and I made the mistake of lifting my foot,” Foley recalled in an interview with CTV Atlantic. “And then it arced again and gave me the really good jolt that you’ve seen that threw me to the ground there.”
In the video, one can see a flash of light and Foley collapsing. Other firefighters quickly rushed to his aid.
“We’ve done a lot of medical calls and close calls and stuff like that, but I’ve never seen an electrifying incident like that,” Foley said.
Neighbours, who had been away camping at the time, rushed home when they heard about the fire. They came just in time to see an ambulance arrive to help Foley.
“They checked to make sure that he was OK and then he walked up through our yard,” Ashley Swinamer told CTV Atlantic. “I believe he got in the ambulance.”
Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Jason Cochrane told CTV Atlantic that he is relieved that Foley is OK, but notes that power lines are something firefighters always have to be aware of.
“With the heavy fire damage like that, the mast will fall away or the wires will burn off of the homes,” Cochrane explained. “And then they become a ground hazard.”
After several hours in hospital, Foley was released in good spirits.
“My wife told me there last night that if I ended up dying there last night, she’d bring me back to life just to kill me again,” he said with a laugh.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko
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