Firefighter burned in Brooklyn fire shares survival tale

An FDNY firefighter from Port Jefferson Station who sustained severe burns battling a Brooklyn fire spoke to News 12 Long Island today about his ordeal.

PORT JEFFERSON STATION - An FDNY firefighter from Port Jefferson Station who sustained severe burns battling a Brooklyn fire spoke to News 12 Long Island today about his ordeal.

Jim Gersbeck was listed in critical condition just 10 days ago after escaping an apartment fire in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Today, he says he's feeling great despite burns to his ears and face.

Gersbeck says when he and fellow firefighter Rob Wiedmann, of Islip Terrace, answered the call, they were expecting a "typical" fire, but when they got into the apartment, it became engulfed in flames. He recalls that he didn't feel his skin burning until he was out of the building. That is when he saw his colleague fall out the window on fire.

"Somebody was watching over me in that room and guiding me back to that door real fast," he says.

Gersbeck, a 25-year veteran, has been released from the hospital and says he is eager to return to work.

Wiedmann is still in the hospital with burns across half of his body.

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