Heroic Firefighter's Wife Talks

By: Gary Loe
By: Gary Loe

Knoxville (WVLT) - A number of firefighters escaped the dangers surrounding them at the scene of the McClung warehouse fires.

Kevin Andrews and brothers Joe and Jeff Lee are all recovering at home now.

But this evening Jeff Kindrick remains at UT Medical Center in stable condition.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe joins us live from UT Medical Center with more on how his family is coping.

I just spoke with Jeff Kindrick's wife Sharon. She says her husband is doing better Thursday, in good spirits.

But she says even with his firefighter training and his US Army Special Ops experience, he never expected to be in such a situation.

The Knoxville firefighter rests in a hospital bed as he waits to be moved from the trauma unit to a private room. He's recovering from an explosion at the McClung Warehouse which happened about six hours after the fire started.

It trapped Kindrick and fellow firefighters Jeff and Joe Lee here on the third floor.

"The whole place was just engulfed in flames up on the ceiling. He said 'I barely had time to turn around', he said 'I've never been in anything like that in my life,'" says Sharon Kindrick.

Jeff's wife Sharon and their 15-year-old son Randall, recall their loved one's life-or-death situation.

Fire surrounded Kindrick, the warehouse floor caving in under him.

"He said, 'yesterday when I turned around and couldn't find Jeff or Joe' and he said, 'I thought that was it.' He kind of teared up for a moment," Sharon says.

Tense moments as the Gulf War veteran searched for a way out of the building.

"When he was Airborne, they teach you how to bend over and fall, so when he knew that he was falling, he just did a parachute landing and he said that's probably what saved him from being a lot more injured than he was," Sharon explains.

The former Airborne soldier fell about 40 feet, injuring his back, arms, legs, and ankles in the fall. He was burned on his right arm and hand.

"He's feeling so much better today, when he's able to sit up and, ah, you know, drink a little coffee," Sharon reports.

Jeff Kindrick is in a back brace. His wife hopes to bring him home this weekend but family is unsure if that's possible at this point.


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