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DORAL (CBSMiami) – An instructor at the training center for Miami-Dade firefighters was burned Friday morning when a training demonstration he was setting up flashed into flames.
38-year-old Lt. Kevin McCrea, an 11-year veteran of the department, was taken to Ryder Trauma Center by air rescue Friday morning after the live-fire demo he was setting up flashed, burning his body.
Fire officials said other people were nearby and put out the flames, then helped McCrea with his injuries.
Department officials told reporters Friday afternoon they still don’t know why the demonstration flamed up, and as they conduct their own investigation they have also called in outside agencies to assist.
Referring to the prop used in the demonstration, “It’s been used many time. Lt. McCrea and the instructors have used it many times,” said Capt. Louis Fernandez, Lt. McCrea’s boss.”That puzzles us as to what may have happened.”
Chuck McCrea joined fire officials at Friday’s news conference, and said his brother is joking with the people around him.
“I spoke with him, and he’s in good spirits,” McCrea saud. “It’s a lot of pain, but otherwise he’s fine.
Kevin McCrea is married and has three children, but they were traveling when the accident happened..
The incident took place at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Headquarters, located at 9300 NW 41st Street in Doral, where a state-of-the-art training facility opened last year.
The facility features a 2-story residential building, a liquid fuel storage facility prop, a commercial warehouse, a strip mall and a 6-story apartment building/tower with unique live fire training props.
“He loves his job, that’s all he talks about,” McCrea’s brother said.
“All of our members, our co-workers, have Lt. McCrea and his family in their hearts and in our prayers,” Capt. Fernandez said.