Apartment Fire: Fargo Firefighters lucky to be alive after being trapped on a collapsing 3rd floorFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - No one was injured in the fire, but 2 Fargo firefighters were trapped on a collapsing 3rd floor. Tonight, they're talking about it for the first time.
Between the two, Keith Johnson and Josh Christofferson have 20-years experience fighting fires. They say the burning apartment roof that nearly collapsed on them was something they say they have never dealt with before.
Keith Johnson: "It was the worst situation I've ever been in 18 years."
When Keith Johnson and Josh Christofferson were called to the massive apartment fire, they knew it wasn't routine.
Josh Christofferson: "I knew it was big because dispatch told us they had fire on the first, second and third floors."
When they arrived on scene both fire fighters headed to the 3rd floor of the building. Near the kitchen they tried to knock the fire down. As Christofferson tried to move somewhere safer, the ceiling collapsed.
Keith Johnson: "This all happened at a moments notice."
Josh Christofferson: "We just started to work on it, and it went down."
The collapse separated the two in the apartment.
Keith Johnson: "The last thing I remember I saw Josh's boots going in to the bedroom".
After that, Johnson says he knew he had only one job.
Keith Johnson: "Make sure I could find him and make sure he was okay."
Christofferson was finally able to make it to an open window. This is video of him being helped out.
Their training is what helped them though it and what they take away is the importance of a close team.
Keith Johnson: "It makes you think a bit more about what members of your crew mean to you."
Both fire fighters say they love what they do, and don't plan to take any time off. They say their thankful no one died in that fire and attribute that successful outcome to everyone on their team.
Local insurance agents have been swamped with business. The apartment fire is serving as a wake-up call for renters to get insurance.
Insurance agents say renters insurance is very affordable. Most companies also give discounts on car insurance for people who have the renter’s policy. An agent with State Farm says he had about 10 people today either sign up for coverage or bumped up their existing policy.
“If they start with 50, they might say wow this fire shocked me enough to look to bumping it to 75, so a little personal inventory.”
Across the country, less than 30 percent of people who rent have the renter's insurance.