Reporting Stacey Butler
YORBA LINDA (CBS) — A fire captain talked exclusively with KCAL9 News Monday about an explosion that literally blew him and a fellow firefighter off their feet in a terrifying close call that was caught on camera.
The blast happened Sunday night when the firefighters were checking out a smoking manhole at Fairmont and Yorba Linda Boulevards in Yorba Linda.
“I consider myself very, very lucky,” said Captain David Wolf.
Wolf saw the video of the manhole explosion for the first time after surviving the blast.
“The next thing I remember I was in the dirt, a kind of flower bed, across from the sidewalk,” he said.
At 7:30 last night Wolf was apparently blown 10 feet into the air, as an electrical equipment vault exploded in Yorba Linda.
“When we got there, you could see that it was just a little bit of smoke. There wasn’t a lot of smoke coming out, so I thought, ‘OK, the incident is kind of over. It’s now just protect anyone from going into an open manhole,’” he said.
But that would prove to be the least of his worries. As Captain Wolf gazed down to see what he describes as a small electrical fire inside the vault, a rare event occurred – the vault exploded.
“I kind of tried to roll away from it. And the next thing I know is that when my firemen was kind of dragging me. I found out later it was my firemen I didn’t know, but somebody had picked me up from the back of my coat and dragged me,” he said.
Amazingly the 23-year veteran with the Orange County Fire Authority and his rookie firefighter only suffered minor burns and bruises.
The explosion was caught by a police cruiser’s dash camera.
“As I watch it, I look, I go ‘Oh my God,’” Wolf said in disbelief.
“I’m just glad that he’s still here with us after seeing that video, it could have been a lot worse,” his wife added.
“Thank the man upstairs. He had a better plan for me,” Wolf said.