Firefighter Burned as Safety Demo Goes Awry

A Washington, D.C., firefighter suffered minor burns on his face and hands last week after a staged fire department demonstration went awry, reported.

D.C. Fire and EMS Department Chief Dennis Rubin apologized for the incident, in which firefighters set a mock dorm room on fire in what was supposed to be a safety exercise on the campus of Galludet University.

When the firefighters started to put the fire out, a plexiglass curtain went up in flames, melted, and began to drip on the men.

According to, Rubin said the photo-op looked like a "comedy act."

"Some of the failure's on our part — and I'll take full responsibility — had to do with the idea that we wanted to have a demonstration was impactful so that the equipment would work in a reasonable timeframe," quoted Rubin.

The firefighter suffered a steam burn on his face and a burn on his hand, and spent the night in the hospital as a precautionary measure before being released, D.C. Fire Department Spokesman Pete Piringer said. The firefighter was wearing the appropriate gear, which protected him from a more serious injury.

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