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Firefighter Goes Home Months After Suffering Injuries In Brooklyn Blaze

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Robert Wiedmann walks out of the hospital on March 23, 2012 months after being injured in a Crown Heights blaze (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Robert Wiedmann walks out of the hospital on March 23, 2012 months after being injured in a Crown Heights blaze (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A firefighter who suffered severe burns battling a Brooklyn blaze last year finally went home this morning.

Robert Wiedmann, 38, received cheers, applause and a standing ovation as he was released from the hospital on Friday after more than three months and 10 surgeries.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports


“My family was there every day for me,” said Wiedmann. “Three months is a long time, it’s like an emotional thing, obviously. I’m just grateful for having them with me for the whole way.”

“Makes me feel good,” he told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story


Wiedmann suffered second and third-degree burns to over 50 percent of his body — including his head, face and back — while fighting a fire the week before Christmas in Crown Heights.

The 14-year veteran fell from the top window of a brownstone onto his ladder, engulfed in flames.

“I never thought anything that I wouldn’t walk out of here one day. It took three months, but I knew I would do it,” he said.

Wiedmann has spent the past three months in the burn center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He’s undergone multiple surgeries and skin grafts.

Doctors call his recovery nothing short of a miracle.

“I guess God had a lot to do with it. I think the doctors and the nurses and everybody, the PT people, the OT people, they definitely had a big role in it too,” Wiedmann said.

“He’s been through a lot of rehab and knows that he’s got a road ahead of him,” said Dr. Roger Yurt of the Hearst Burn Center. “He couldn’t be here today without the fortitude he has to get through this.”

Wiedmann was escorted to his home in Long Island by firefighters and police officers, and he was greeted at home by more members of the FDNY.

Firefighter James Gersbeck, 52, was also severely injured in the same fire. He was previously released from the hospital following treatment for his injuries.

In total, 12 units and about 100 firefighters responded to the fire on the third floor of the Prospect Place brownstone on Dec. 19.

What do you make of Wiedmann’s recovery? Sound off in our comments section below. 

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