Los Angeles firefighter badly wounded in 2020 fire, explosion turns to fishing during recovery

  • Source: KCBS-TV CBS 2 Los Angeles
  • Published: 05/17/2022 12:00 AM

A Los Angeles firefighter who was badly burned in a massive downtown L.A. explosion and fire two years ago is continuing his road to recovery. On May 16, 2020, explosions rocked a burning downtown vape shop. L.A. Fire Capt. Victor Aguirre rushed in to save lives and was the last firefighter to escape down a ladder when it was engulfed by a fireball. "I thought, this is how I die," Aguirre said. In total, 11 firefighters were hurt in the explosion. Aguirre's burns were catastrophic. "I went from fourth-degree burns, which is your bones being burned, to second- and first-degree burns throughout my body," Aguirre said. "I had...metal on the back of my head. I've had 31 surgeries." Aguirre's continuing physical recovery has been harrowing and inspirational. He returned first to his family, and then to work at the LAFD emergency dispatch center. Now he's focused on another type of healing, through fishing.


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