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Firefighter seriously injured in Wilmington explosion released from hospital

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

A Los Angeles firefighter who was seriously hurt during the Wilmington explosion has returned home after a nearly two-week stay at the hospital. 

Firefighter Dan Goen is one of the nine crewmembers who were injured after a semi-truck powered by compressed natural gas exploded on Feb. 15. The blast happened about six minutes after the crews arrived. It blasted some firefighters off their feet and knocked them out, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

"This incident serves as a reminder of the inherent dangers of the firefighting profession and the commitment your LAFD members have to place the safety of the public before their own," Chief Kristin Crowley said. 

Firefighter Dan Goen walks past an LAFD truck with his wife after being discharged from the hospital. LAFD

The firefighters with less severe injuries quickly moved their more seriously injured crew members out of danger. Doctors at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said the firefighters suffered burns, blast and airway inhalation injuries. Dr. Molly Deane, a trauma surgeon at the hospital, said that after seeing a video of the explosion, "it's remarkable none of them were more severely injured."  

Goen suffered some of the worst injuries, with doctors intubating him so he could breathe. Medical staff transferred him to a special burn unit at Los Angeles General Medical Center. His fellow firefighters greeted him outside the hospital as he walked out with gauze still wrapped around his right arm. 

"Thank you to everyone involved," he said. 

Goen added he was grateful for all the support he received from his wife, the department and medical staff. 

"Blessed to not only be alive but also to not have any career-ending, major injuries," Goen said. "I'm very blessed and happy to be here."

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