Boston firefighters are rallying to support a Manchester, New Hampshire firefighter who suffered significant burns while saving lives during a fire at a multi-family building Saturday.
Captain Steve DesRuisseaux arrived at the Dutton Street home around 6 p.m. and saw residents trapped on the third floor, according to the Manchester, New Hampshire Fire Department. He notified all personnel they were in rescue mode and made his way into the building.
After rescuing a man, DesRuisseaux became engulfed in flames during a flashover. He tried to bail from a second-floor porch, but his self-contained breathing apparatus strap got caught on the ladder and trapped him. Fellow firefighters helped safely get him to the ground. He was taken by ambulance to Elliott Hospital and then flown by UMass Memorial Lifeflight to Massachusetts General Hospital.
DesRuisseaux suffered second and third degree burns to about 40% of his body and is currently receiving treatment for his injuries. He was scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
The fire killed one person and sent two others to a hospital, including DesRuisseaux. Firefighters rescued six people from the inferno.
Upon hearing of DesRuisseaux’s injuries, the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation paid for a hotel near Massachusetts General Hospital for the captain’s family to stay so they can be close to him as he recovers.
“It’s no different than what they would have done for us,” Boston Firefighters Local 718 President John Soares told Live Boston. “Firefighters are an extended family across the country.”
Brothers from Boston (Local 718) and Quincy (Local 792) on Sunday stopped by Devine Rink in Dorchester to show support at DesRuisseaux’s son, Jack, during his Boston Junior Bruins game vs. Salem.
“Brotherhood: being there for someone when they can’t be,” the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association posted on Facebook. “We know Steve would have been there if he could!”
“We’re blessed to be a blessing,” Soares told us. “The firefighting community is what makes this job a blessing.” A firefighter who visited DesRuisseaux at the hospital told Live Boston the captain was in good spirits. The cause of the fire is under investigation.