Springfield firefighter injures neck, in stable condition following Sunday fire

Other injured firefighters released from hospital.

A Springfield firefighter remained in stable condition Monday and several other firefighters who were injured were released from a local hospital following a Sunday Rice Street house fire.

Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller provided an update during a press conference Monday morning.

ExplorePHOTOS: Firefighters injured after fire in Springfield

The Springfield Fire Rescue Division was dispatched around 2 p.m. Sunday to a structure fire at 603 Rice St. The fire, caused by an electrical issue, started in the back corner of the home and spread to the second story. Two crews were assigned to the area to extinguish the flames, Miller said.

After experiencing a sudden increase in temperature, the crews evacuated the building. While exiting, firefighter James “Rob” Baise fell down the stairs and injured his neck, Miller said.

Once firefighters realized Baise had not made it out, crews re-entered and found him at the base of the stairs.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

He was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries at first thought to be critical, Miller said. Since then he has “steadily improved” and as of Monday was in stable condition, the chief said.

“It is too early to predict a final outcome,” Miller said. “However, we have many positive reasons to think a full recovery is possible.”

Several firefighters — Capt. Derek Shenefield and firefighters Kevin Whalen, Nick Woolever and Colton Harsh — were taken to Springfield Regional Medical after suffering smoke inhalation and exposure to high heat. They all have since been treated and released, Miller said.

ExploreSpringfield firefighters injured battling house fire

Four adults and a dog escaped the fire at 603 Rice St. before crews arrived on Sunday. The residents were receiving assistance from the American Red Cross, officials said.

Miller said Sunday’s events were “deeply personal” for the fire division, and he asked that community members respect the privacy of families involved.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

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