Apopka firefighter hospitalized, doing ‘unbelievably well’ after significant work-related injury, officials say

Austin Duran in stable condition, fire department says

The cause of the incident is currently being investigated.

APOPKA, Fla. – An Apopka firefighter was hospitalized Thursday morning after a significant work-related injury, the department said.

According to the Apopka Fire Department, 25-year-old Austin Duran was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center for his injuries. He is in stable condition, fire officials said.

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Apopka Fire Chief Sean Wylam said it happened just before noon on Thursday at Fire Station 1 on 5th Street.

“He’s in stable condition now and talking to his family,” Wylam said.

Apopka Fire Station 1 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Chief Wylam told News 6 Duran was working near a secondary garage and trying to move a sand trailer when he was hurt. The trailer is used for hazards like gas spills and liquid spills.

“They were getting ready to move the trailer to a different station,” Wylam said.

Officials said Duran’s torso and legs were injured.

Late Thursday, News 6 saw a crane being used to lift and weigh the sand trailer as the investigation continued.

Duran’s family has established a GoFundMe to raise money for his treatment, which can be found by clicking here.

In an update Saturday, Apopka Fire Union President Alex Klepper said Duran was doing “unbelievably well” after undergoing spinal, shoulder and leg surgery, adding that the firefighter is healing perfectly. Even with a rod, pin and screws now stabilizing his spine, Duran is sitting up, can shake his head, write and smile, Klepper said.

Klepper said Monday, July 4, that Duran successfully underwent his fourth surgery on his ribs, which was the “hardest one yet.” He added that “the hope is to ween him off of the ventilator and start the recovery process.”

A week later on July 11, Klepper commented on Duran’s recovery, stating, “His lungs are in pretty bad shape, so he’s still sedated on the ventilator and will probably remain on it longer than expected. It will be a long road to recovery.”

Photos of Austin Duran shared by his family. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

No other firefighters were hurt. News 6 has also reached out to the state fire marshal’s office working to learn more about this investigation.

The cause of the incident is currently being investigated. Check back with News 6 for updates.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.