Firefighter speaks for first time since falling into blaze

AP News
Posted: Jul 11, 2015 6:44 PM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A Fresno Fire Department captain has made his first public appearance since falling through a roof while fighting a house fire more than three months ago.

The Fresno Bee reported Saturday ( ) that Capt. Pete Dern spoke of his remarkable recovery during a news conference held Friday.

Dern says he feels "pretty good" even though he still has a long road to recovery.

Hospital officials say the 49-year-old father has undergone 19 surgeries and over 50 dressing changes for his burn injuries.

Dern suffered second- and third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body after the roof of a garage engulfed in flames crumbled at his feet on March 29.

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Film footage of the fire that showed Dern falling into an inferno has generated interest and help from around the world. More than $186,000 has been raised for him.