Firefighter injured in roof collapse fights for life in Dallas - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Firefighter injured in roof collapse fights for life in Dallas

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UPDATE: LINDALE (KYTX) - Lindale Mayor Robert Nelson offers prayers and support on behalf of the city to injured firefighter Joe Yeakley and his family:

On behalf of the City of Lindale, I commend the Lindale Volunteer Fire Department for their continued courage and service to the citizens of Lindale and the surrounding area.


On the evening of January 16, 2014, Lindale Volunteer Fireman Mr. Joe Yeakley was severely injured while leading his team in an effort to control a residential fire.

Mr. Yeakley remains in stable but critical condition at Parkland Medical Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The City of Lindale recognizes his bravery, and commends the work of his fellow firemen who removed him from the burning structure.

Myself, and the Lindale City Council extend deep appreciation to the Lindale Volunteer Fire Department for their continued selfless service to our citizens during this time.


We express our deep concern and appreciation to the Yeakley family. Please know that our prayers of support are with you during this time, and healing for Fireman Yeakley is our main concern. As the days progress, please know that we will not forget the bravery exhibited by Joe.


The City of Lindale supports the efforts of the Lindale Volunteer Fire Department in collecting and providing assistance to the Yeakley family, and encourages all citizens to coordinate efforts to help with the fire department leadership.

Thank you to the citizens of Lindale for outreach, support, and prayers to the Yeakley Family during the weeks to come, and thank you Lindale Volunteer Firefighters.
Sincerely,

Mayor Robert Nelson

Currently, financial donations are being accepted via Texas Bank & Trust, and can be addressed as follows:

Lindale Volunteer Fire Department
For Benefit of Joe Yeakley
P.O. Box 8
Lindale, Texas 75771


Donations can be mailed or delivered to any Texas Bank & Trust location.
Blood donations can be made in honor of Joe Yeakley at any Carter Blood Care Center.

 



 

Lindale firefighter Joe Yeakley is still in critical condition in a Dallas hospital after a roof caved in on him while fighting a house fire Friday morning.

He has severe burns to at least half of his body. The worst burns are on his face and hands, where debris from the burning roof fell on him.

Yeakley was one of the first firefighters to run into the burning house in the 15,000 block of Childress Street in Lindale. He was in the back side of the house near the garage when that roof collapsed on him. fellow firefighters were able to pull him out through a window. Now, an entire community is praying for his recovery.

"what Joe's shown me and taught me, it's way more than anyone else ever has," says fellow Lindale firefighter Jeremy Layton. 

When Layton talks about Yeakley, you'd think he's talking about his dad.

"Joe's probably one of the best dads out there," he says.

Joe has a daughter Layton's age, who's his only child.

However, at his second home, his team of firefighters is family too.

"Joe to me is a father figure. He's always there for me, like a dad should be or father should be. I broke my back a couple months ago. I fell off a horse. Joe called me every day. Checked on me every day," he says.

So when a crumbling roof trapped Joe inside a burning house, it was time to return the favor.

"We had 10 or 15 guys over there looking for him, searching, yelling out his name, searching," Layton says.
 
A few firefighters were finally able to pull him out of a window to safety.

"I was with him until he was loaded up into the ambulance and taken to a helicopter. When they loaded him up in the ambulance, clearly me and Joe are really close, we said I love you. I said I love you, I'll see you in a little bit. He said alright man I love you too."

That love spreads throughout the entire community. Hundreds praying their hero will make it back home.

Yeakley is very well known in the Lindale community. He is very involved in his church, and is also a funeral director at a local funeral home.

His wife and daughter are with him in Dallas as he recovers. Members of his firefighter family have been traveling to Dallas to see him two at a time. 

A Smith County Fire Marshal on scene tells CBS 19 the fire started in the back bedroom, near where the roof collapsed. He says it's the same bedroom that caught fire in 2002. That will be part of an ongoing investigation. They still do not know what caused the fire.

Lindale Volunteer Fire Department is taking donations of snacks and money to take to the Yeakley family during their extended stay in the Dallas area while Joe recovers. Donations can be taken to Lindale's Central station (next to Lindale Library).

An account has been set up at Texas Bank & Trust. Financial donations can be sent to:

Lindale Volunteer Fire Dept
FBO Joe Yeakley
P.O. Box 8
Lindale, TX 75771

Blood donations can be made in honor of Joe Yeakley, at Carter Blood Center anytime, and their Mobile Unit will be at Brookshire's in Lindale, Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 11am - 4pm.

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