UPDATE, 10:13 p.m. – NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – A driver, a captain, and the assistant fire chief from the New Iberia Fire Department were injured in a fire and explosion at Alleman Plumbing on Hopkins Street Thursday morning.
“All I can tell you is that they are all great firemen,” said New Iberia Fire Chief Gordon Copell. “Their wives are with them.”
Gordon says units responded to a structure fire at the business. There was a gas leak inside. Then, there was an explosion.
The driver and captain were the first on the scene. They were injured in the explosion. The assistant chief soon arrived to help them, when he was also injured.
“They were all geared up in their position. The captain making entry had his gear on. I would assume the driver was flaking the hose out so he could make entry. You’re not driving to the fire in your gear.”
The father of Captain Gary Simone, Raymond “Shoe Do” Lewis, says his son’s hands were burned.
“Help when you can make a difference,” said Lewis. “Today, the only thing he was doing was his job.”
Simone was sent to the burn unit at a hospital in Baton Rouge.
“I know my son. I know how I raised him. He’s gonna bound back,” said Lewis.
A second firefighter was also sent to Baton Rouge. The third firefighter was sent to a hospital in Lafayette.
ORIGINAL POST: NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — New Iberia firefighters are responding to a natural gas line explosion at a business near the intersection of Hopkins St. and W. Dale St. with three first responders reported as injured and hospitalized.
Details have been very few so far, but Lafayette Police confirmed to News 10 they helped to escort at least one injured firefighter to a Lafayette hospital’s burn ward. Neither the extent nor the cause of injuries were disclosed.
Sources at the scene tell News 10 that the explosion happened while crews were digging at the scene.
The Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office has been requested by the New Iberia Fire Department to help find the origin of the gas explosion. They have reported that the explosion happened at a manufactured home being used as a commercial business.
This is a developing story. Details will be posted here as they become available.