Helmet Cam Gives Glimpse Into World of Firefighters

The fire nearly claimed the life of Montgomery County Volunteer Firefighter Brett Russell

The world of firefighters in the line of duty can seem surreal, but a camera strapped on to the helmet of Montgomery County Volunteer Firefighter Brett Russell is revealing some of the horrors firefighters face every day.

Russell was nearly killed in a Dec. 22 house fire in the 2200 block of Kings House Road in Silver Spring after falling through a floor.

"I'm sounding the floor boards with my hook, all of a sudden my hook goes through the floor and I was like, 'uh oh,'" Russell said. "I tried to take a step back but before I could even take a step back I was waist deep in the floor."

Before he knew it, Russell was even deeper between the house's burning floors. 

"Looking down at that point I saw the orange glow that was in the basement," he said. 

Russell appears calm and collected in the video, a testament to his training and the confidence he has in his fellow firefighters. 

"We got to him pretty quickly," said Captain Adam St. John with the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. "We called for additional resources... and we got him out of there." 


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Russell was not injured and, despite the scare, did not abandon his post. 

"He remained on the scene," said Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

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