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Paramedic And Patient Injured After Floor Of Baltimore Rowhouse Collapses

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- When you think of firefighters being injured, the dangers of smoke and flames may come to mind. Friday, as Mike Schuh reports, a paramedic found out that hazards can be found in many places in old Baltimore homes.

Across from Union Memorial Hospital, a simple medical call turns into a rescue. Special units are called.

Earlier, a 60-year-old man on the second floor fell down. But now he's dropped eight feet into the basement of a vacant home.

"As the paramedic stepped out of the house, onto the porch, the patient and the paramedic went through the floor. The floor collapsed," Kevin Cartwright, spokesman for the Baltimore City Fire Department, said.

Cheri Blount, the paramedic's work partner, saw it happen.

"It was more surreal, I guess" Blount said. "I'm looking at them, holding the stretcher, waiting for them, and half of them are gone. And I just started yelling."

That rotten porch was built over the basement.

"The paramedic was able to get himself together, climb out and call on his radio for assistance to rescue the patient," Cartwright said.

"I'm just yelling, 'Tony, Tony!' And I get up on the steps and I can see that he's OK," Blount said.

The silver and black poles are braces stopping an additional collapse of this 94-year-old vacant row home.

The original victim? He's still down there. They secure him on a back board and hoist him out. They don't think he suffered any additional injuries, but send him in a neck brace to the hospital to be sure.

"It's unbelievable, like I'm still trying to get past it," Blount said.

Remember, that's from a pro-- someone who's seen a lot as a city paramedic. This building is now condemned.

The paramedic was taken to Mercy Medical Center to be checked out.

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