Firefighter speaks for first time since falling into blaze

AP News
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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 (http://bit.ly/1eQVxLz ) 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.

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.