Firefighters Talk About Battling the Fire

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

(WVLT)- For Knoxville firefighters, the call Wednesday morning is one they've been trained to answer.

But this close knit bunch of men had no idea they would also be fighting to save their fellow brothers.

"It was really the worst feeling that I've ever felt... oh man, just like I said earlier, helpless and hopeless," said Captain Dennis Noe of the Knoxville Fire Department.

Seventeen years of experience couldn't stop the fear from building-up inside Noe's mind when he saw this blaze, and learned that his fellow firefighters were trapped inside.

"By the time we got there, that whole floor was totally blackened with heavy, heavy smoke coming out," said Noe.

And that's when they heard the news.

"That was when everyone changed into game mode," Captian Frank Mallory said. "It changed from terror to, 'We gotta help these guys get out of here'."

"It was spooky," Noe said. "It was a very, very bad situation until we found out they made it out alive."

And not only were firefighters battling a blaze, they were engaging the elements.

"You're out in the cold weather, it was wet, cold," said Captain Richard Gibson. "An average day, you're busy running calls but you aren't in your gear for ten hours at a time."

Even after fighting fire for hours, these guys still need to be on top of their game. In the short time they were there, they had to make two runs.

"You have a sense of urgency to get there and do what you can do," Gibson said.

Adrenaline keeps them focused and fearless.

"Not to say we don't get scared, because we do... but when it's something like that, one of your own or a child, you are gonna immediatley look over that fear and do what you can to help that person," said Mallory.

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