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Desoto firefighter nearly killed in brush fire - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Desoto firefighter nearly killed in brush fire

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Around 100 acres burned Wednesday afternoon during a Desoto Parish brush fire, which almost became deadly. A young firefighter suffered serious injuries while battling the blaze. It took two hours for Desoto fire districts one, eight, five and others to get it under control. The forest of pine trees was still smoking in places along L.A. Highway 19 Thursday. 

"The smoke, it was just horrendous," Chief Jack Canton, with fire district one, said. "It was bad, real bad."

Canton says the blaze started back up around 7 PM. That's when 21-year-old firefighter Haden Ezernack was injured by a falling tree. Responders cut it down to prevent the fire from spreading to a field across the highway.

"If it would of went that way, it could've jumped the river into Texas. We had this happen before," Canton said. "We just though it was best in our interest to cut the tree down."

Canton says the tree fell the wrong way towards firefighters. Two got away in time. Ezerneck was hit by limbs.

"One of my firefighters who got there first, he was just devastated," Canton said.

Ezerneck was flown to LSU Hospital where he remains in the ICU with a major head injury. Canton says he has bleeding on the brain, but is actively talking. He's expected to recover.

"He's in pretty fair condition," Cantons aid. "I don't think we have any life threatening things at this time."

Canton says Ezerneck has a family with a young daughter. He also believes the fire started when someone threw a cigarette onto the roadside.

"As dry as it is and with the grass buildup as it is, I don't think it would be much trouble for a fire to be started a cigarette at this time of the year," he said.

Desoto Parish, along with most in Northwest Louisiana, remains under a burn ban.

 

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