Manchester Fire Captain Seriously Burned, One Dead In Apartment Blaze

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — One person is dead and a Manchester, N.H. Fire Captain is badly wounded after a fire at an apartment building on Saturday night. The fire department was called to an apartment building on Dutton Street just after 6:00 PM on Saturday.

Fire crews that were first to arrive on scene saw that residents of the building were trapped on the third floor and Fire Captain Steve DesRuisseaux burst into the building to try and save the trapped people.

At the same time, the rest of the fire crews were getting people off of the third floor, successfully rescuing a man and woman. After rescuing another man from the second floor, DesRuisseaux became completely engulfed by the fire and tried to bail out of the building, but part of his breathing apparatus got caught on the ladder he was trying to climb down, trapping him.

A firefighter tried to free DesRuisseaux, before another member of their crew saw that there was no time, and pulled the ladder down with both men on it. One of the firefighters sprained an ankle in the 10-to-15 foot fall, and by that time DesRuisseaux was already badly burned. He had second and third-degree burns on 35-40% of his body, and was med-flighted to Mass. General Hospital.

One man, who was found after the fire on the second floor balcony, was pronounced dead. Another resident was taken to the hospital for treatment. Battalion Chief David Fleury called DesRuisseaux's actions "nothing short of heroic." 11 other fire departments helped out in the blaze.

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