Accident that injured Campbellsville firefighters demonstrates p - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Accident that injured Campbellsville firefighters demonstrates power line danger

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One day after a serious accident injured several Campbellsville firefighters, WDRB News is learning more about how it could have happened.

Two of the four firefighters are still recovering at U of L Hospital.

The accident happened minutes after the firefighters helped the Campbellsville University band with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

New video obtained by WDRB from Campbellsville University student Hannah Sadler shows a medical helicopter transporting a victim to the hospital, and police securing the area around the bucket ladder.

Firefighters Tony Grider and Simon Quinn were in that bucket when electricity from a nearby power line arced towards them.

Campbellsville police chief Tim Hazlette says investigators are trying to determine exactly what happened.

"The utility company is investigating. They have investigators on scene. OSHA is investigating. They arrived yesterday. And I believe investigators, or persons, from the Kentucky Fire Commission," said Hazlette.

Capt. Tony Grider, 41, is still listed in critical condition. Campbellsville's fire chief Kyle Smith told WDRB news off-camera that Grider has third-degree burns over 55% of his body, primarily his upper torso.

Simon Quinn, 22, has mostly second-degree burns on his face, right arm and right leg. He is listed in fair condition, and is said to be in good spirits.

Investigators say the bucket did not actually come in contact with the power lines, but was in a danger zone. LG&E confirms power lines can be extremely dangerous even without being touched.

LG&E spokesperson Natasha Collins says the usual safe zone is from 10-45 feet.

"Arcing is essentially when electricity is conducted through the air. And when you think about arcing, really the main thing you need to think about is how electricity moves. Electric current, by its very nature, is something that seeks all paths to ground," she said.

Chief Smith confirms he does train his firefighters to stay a safe distance from power lines.

Campbellsville's police chief says the incident is taking its toll on his friend and colleague in the fire department.

"Anytime that you have your personnel involved in a traumatic incident, and you have injuries within your ranks, it takes it's toll on you. But he's doing well," said Hazlette.

"This, being a small town, everybody's family," said Demytreus Gipson, a Campbellsville student. "So, when one person gets hurt, everybody feels it. Being a Christian place, we decided it was good to pray for them."

Chief Smith says the department does a lot of charity work and will continue to do so.

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