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Fresno Firefighter Severely Burned After Falling Through Fiery Roof

FRESNO, Calif. (CBS/AP) — A Fresno firefighter was hospitalized with severe burns Sunday after falling through a roof while battling a house fire, authorities said.

The firefighter, a 25-year veteran of the Fresno Fire Department, suffered second- and third-degree burns on 65 to 75 percent of his body, department spokesman Agapito Martinez said in a statement.

The firefighter went to the roof of a garage that was engulfed in flames to ventilate the structure when the roof collapsed and he fell through, Martinez said.

A witness video showed the firefighter stamping the roof once with a pole before falling. A burst of flames rose through the opening. Someone repeatedly yelled "Get him out!" as others screamed.

A man who used an ax to help firefighters cut into the side of the garage to get to the fallen firefighter said he was trapped for one to three minutes.

"When they pulled him out, they immediately stripped off his clothes and covered him in water," Joe Reyes told the Fresno Bee.

The firefighter was listed in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Fire officials said it does not appear to have been started intentionally.

A donation site has been set up for his wife and daughter.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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