ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Just feet from flames billowing from a pickup, a camera mounted on the helmet of a Hudson firefighter is giving the public an up-close look at the danger faced by first responders.
A call about a vehicle fire Tuesday was likely routine for Hudson Volunteer Fire Department crews. For the public, it's a rare perspective via the internet. Hudson VFD is posting videos of some emergency calls to their Facebook page and to YouTube. The point-of-view experience is unique because bystanders are often kept far from the scene of emergencies for their own safety.
The nearly 9-minute video posted Tuesday shows flames pouring from the underside of a truck parked in grass adjacent to a gravel drive. It caught fire earlier that day on FM 706, according to the department's Facebook page.
Firefighter Jacob Smith said the driver was returning from Apple Spring and noticed smoke coming from the dash. He pulled over, when the fire spread. The driver escaped uninjured, according to Smith.
The camera, a Fire Cam Mini HD, is a commercially-produced device that mounts on the brim of a firefighter's helmet. Smith said he paid for the camera, but Hudson VFD does use the videos for training purposes.
Two firefighters in full gear are seen unrolling hoses, then approaching the smoke and fire. A apparent spray of retardant takes several minutes to completely extinguish the flames.
At one point, the fireman wearing the camera uses a tool to pry open the hood, allowing access to the flames inside the engine compartment. After several minutes, the blaze was reduced to smoke and steam rising off the charred metal body of the truck.