A firefighter who had climbed into a north Stockton commercial building’s attic to quell a growing electrical fire Friday afternoon was injured when he stepped on an access panel and crashed through the ceiling, falling 14 feet to the floor below.
The firefighter, Ken Suzuki, 34, was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center, where he remained in stable condition Friday evening.
Fire Chief Ron Hittle was with Suzuki at the hospital on Friday afternoon.
“My firefighter’s going to be OK,” he said.
Suzuki suffered facial injuries; he hit a wall and some furniture as he fell, and landed face-down.
Hittle said Suzuki, who has been with the Fire Department nearly two years, might have sustained a broken arm, though an X-ray to determine that had yet to come back.
“He’s very lucky,” Hittle said. “Again, part of our gear – our helmet and everything that we wear – saved him.”
Suzuki, with Engine No. 13, was part of the Fire Department’s two-alarm response to a 2:30 p.m. fire at Mancini’s Sleepworld, at 702 W. Hammer Lane.
Mike Hughes, an employee of Mancini’s, said a passerby warned him the outside of the building was on fire.
There was no evidence of fire inside Mancini’s, Hughes said, but outside, smoke could be seen rising from the northwest corner of the building, shared with the adjacent Toys “R” Us store.
“We came outside, noticed it, and called the Fire Department,” Hughes said.
When firefighters arrived, they headed to the building’s roof and attic, where several small fires had started after an electrical overload.
West Coast 911 Firefighting News Source – The Record