Atlanta firefighter burned while fighting blaze at vacant building

An Atlanta firefighter was taken to a hospital Monday evening after he was burned while battling a blaze in an abandoned building.

Several firefighters had to escape through a window moments before the building’s walls caved in, according to department spokesman Cortez Stafford.

Crews arrived at a location at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Connally Street about 11 p.m. Monday, Stafford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The building has been vacant for some time, but was previously a convenience store, he said.

Firefighters at the scene saw smoke and flames rising from the building’s second floor. They went inside to fight the fire at its source as the blaze spread to other parts of the building.

Crews worked to douse the flames, but soon found that the conditions were too dangerous for them to remain inside.

“The heat and fire stated to overtake them, so they had to bail out of a window and down a ladder,” he said.

Moments later, an inner wall of the building’s second floor collapsed. The remnants landed in the parking lot, Stafford said.

“It was really a dangerous situation,” Stafford said.

At that point, a firefighter realized he had been burned on his neck, Stafford said. He was discharged from the hospital Tuesday and is expected to be OK.

No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire isn’t clear. The incident remains under investigation.