Firefighters Tell Their Stories

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) - Tuesday marked the first time some of the firefighters injured on last week's call have spoken publicly about what happened.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford was there when they told their stories.

It was not easy for these brave men to recall their experience, but they all say they're so blessed that they lived to share it with us today.

"The third floor was completely clear at this time, no smoke or anything, had windows open, had a cross-ventilation," Captain Jeff Lee says he, his brother Joe and Jeff Kindrick had no idea what they were walking into. "He's telling me 'there's a fire over here' and I yell back at the window that 'we need the hose back up.'"

The Lee brothers hooked the hose together at the window, and Kindrick was in the middle of the floor as the flames grew closer by the minute

"Finally I just made the decision to go, I said 'Joe we gotta go,' and we both talked about it and said let's use the hose line," Jeff said.

"Using the hose to get out was just a product of necessity. There was no option, but to get out," Captain Joe Lee says.

And that's exactly what they did.

"I asked Jeff, did you have any butterflies in your stomach when you crawled out that window from being so high?" says Joe.

Sliding down the hose gave Joe the deep friction burn on his finger. Jeff has some knee injuries and first-degree burns on his face, neck, ear and hands.

"We had a peace," says Jeff. "A peacefulness and calmness about us in the situation, and we both knew what it was, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

The Lee's call Jeff Kindrick their hero.

"He was risking his life to look for us in there," says Jeff.

"Jeff Kindrick just came straight out and it was amazing," says Firefighter Kevin Andrews.

Jeff Kindrick is recovering at home tonight.

Kevin Andrews, who hurt his knee running from the damaged fire truck, returned to work Monday.

Jeff Lee and Joe Lee say it will be a few more weeks, before they can return.

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