BOSTON (WHDH) – A New Hampshire firefighter who helped rescue people from a deadly blaze over the weekend was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital after experiencing burns over a third of his body
Manchester Fire Captain Steve DesRuisseaux got retained in the fast-moving flames at a Dutton Street apartment building Saturday night, with one woman dying in the blaze. He was badly burned when his equipment got caught on a ladder during the rescue.
“It’s something that you don’t want to ever get. You don’t want to get that phone call, as a parent, as a wife,” said his spouse, Colleen DesRuisseaux.
According to her, the next call came from the Boston Firefighter’s Union. She was at her son’s hockey game in Boston and they were preparing to meet her at the hospital before her husband already arrived.
“We were at Mass, General by 7:30 p.m. and they were here at 7:45 p.m. supporting us,” she said. “They had already taken care of a hotel room for the week. They gave us gift cards. They said, ‘Don’t worry about anything, just worry about Steve.”
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The next day, she said droves of firefighters — all perfect strangers — showed up at her son’s second hockey game of the weekend in Dorchester to sustain him while Steve was recovering.
“It brought tears to his eyes. He was so touched and moved that these men would come and be there for him and his son when he couldn’t be there and be his dad that night,” she said.
Firefighters say their thoughts are with both DesRuisseaux and the family of the 59-year-old woman who did not make it out.
They say DesRuisseaux’s heroism prevented further loss.
“That’s the part that makes me proudest, knowing that he did what we are all called to do. He got the call that night and he did it,” Boston Firefighters Union President John Soares said. “He took care of a family up there that he didn’t know, so in turn now it’s our turn to take care of a family we don’t know.”
Colleen said she is amazed by the bond their firefighting family has shown and proud of her husband for putting his life on the line.
“I just said this earlier and he made fun of me, but I’ve always known that he’s a hero,” she said.
While awaiting surgery, DesRuisseaux released a statement in which he thanked all those who rushed to his aid that night and expressed his sympathies for the family of the woman who died.
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