New details in firefighter's condition

April 1, 2009 3:59:27 PM PDT
We're learning more about a Houston firefighter who is recovering from this week's shocking collision between two fire trucks. It's coming from colleagues of Montgomery Fire Chief Brian Edwards, the man who was behind the wheel of one of those fire trucks. [PHOTOS: See images from scene]

Louisiana manufacturer Ferrara Fire looked at the two engines Wednesday at the request of the Houston Fire Department. They saw the result of the brunt force which thee ladder truck endured, as the pumper slammed into it.

The manufacturer hasn't said yet if they think the engines can be fixed, but HFD isn't optimistic.

"These things just aren't meant to get hit and turn over," said Houston Fire Department District Chief Tommy Dowdy. "It looks like both of them are gonna be totaled."

As police continue their investigation into what happened, bicyclist Leigh Boone is still listed in critical condition. She reportedly suffered serious head trauma, even though she was wearing a helmet.

Also still in the hospital is firefighter Captain Michael Mayfield, listed in fair condition, and engineer operator Brian Edwards, who's listed in good condition.

"I was thinking the worst, obviously," said Montgomery Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Covington

Edwards was driving the pumper truck. He works full time for the Houston Fire Department, but his friends at the Montgomery Fire Department, where he also works part time, say he suffered a broken leg, a broken wrist and a broken rib.

Covington just visited Edwards at the hospital. As usual, he says Edwards is least concerned with his own well being.

"I can tell you today he's still worried about that right there, those other firemen and victim involved in the accident," said Covington.

Police are still conducting their investigation and have not cited anyone even though they say it appears the driver of the pumper truck ran a red light.

What's troubling about all of this is that the initial call for the fire was a false alarm -- smoke coming out of a sewer. And we're told the fire department had known about the smoke testing.

The city's public works department notified the Houston Fire Department ahead of time, that it would be smoke testing sewers in the area. The public works department also says it distributed flyers to neighbors.

The call came from a nearby homeowner who saw smoke coming out of a vent. It was all part of the testing, but fire officials say they would have responded to the call anyways.

We were able to gather more information about the Montgomery Fire Department chief with the help of our Houston Community Newspaper partner, the Courier of Montgomery County.

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