Firefighter describes "frightening" experience falling from burn

Firefighter describes "frightening" experience falling from burning home

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"I was praying, 'Please, don't let me die.' The brick that was above the window, that's what took me off the roof and down to the ground," said Pratt. "I was praying, 'Please, don't let me die.' The brick that was above the window, that's what took me off the roof and down to the ground," said Pratt.
The home was completely destroyed. The home was completely destroyed.
"I'm glad that they are there and that we can depend on them and I really hate that one got hurt," said homeowner Sandra Hill. "I'm glad that they are there and that we can depend on them and I really hate that one got hurt," said homeowner Sandra Hill.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A firefighter was injured Tuesday night fighting a South Knox County house fire.

The fire started just before 6:30 p.m. at a home on South Creek Road near Maryville Pike.

Sandra Hill looked out her window at her neighbor's home, saw the blaze and called 911.

"It looked like a big ball burning and in no time it was spread across the back of the house," said Hill.

Officials at the scene said the back half of the home was fully involved when firefighters arrived. 

Firefighter Brian Pratt, who's been with Rural/Metro for 20 years, got on what appeared to be a stable gable roof to break a window so water could be sprayed inside.

Once on the roof, bricks started falling and the roof began to shake.

"I was praying, 'Please, don't let me die.' The brick that was above the window, that's what took me off the roof and down to the ground," said Pratt.

Pratt fell 12 feet to the ground. Bricks landed on top of him.

"That was probably the most frightened I've been in my career as a fireman," said Pratt.

He was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center and released around 20 hours later. 

Pratt has a broken foot with two screws in it, a broken thumb and bruises all over his body. 

Despite the injuries and the frightening experience, he couldn't imagine doing anything else.

"Being a fireman is more of a lifestyle than career.  It gets in your blood and you can't get away from it," said Pratt.

Hill is thankful for the dedication of the emergency responders.

"I'm glad that they are there and that we can depend on them and I really hate that one got hurt," said Hill.

Pratt says he is blessed to be alive and is looking forward to going back to work after his injuries heal in six to eight weeks. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The home is considered a total loss.

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