SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – An Apopka firefighter who has been hospitalized for weeks due to a significant work-related injury has died.
Austin Duran, 25, was injured on the job on June 30 and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for his injuries, where he had multiple surgeries and was in the ICU. The Apopka Fire Department released a statement on the death of Duran, who was with the department since July 2020.
In a GoFundMe update made on Saturday, Duran’s sister wrote, “Yesterday was a bad day for our family ... Austin fought this fight like a warrior, like a hero.”
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Apopka Fire Chief Sean Wylam told News 6 at the time 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.
An update on GoFundMe before Saturday’s said, “Austin’s lungs are having a hard time healing themselves. He caught pneumonia and his lungs are very damaged still from the accident. He is highly sedated and expected to be on the ventilator longer than we initially thought.”
The Apopka community rallied around the firefighter, raising funds for his procedures and medical expenses. Porkie’s Original BBQ held a fundraiser on July 7.
“It just hit me. This guy needs some support, whether it’s financial or just the community’s support,” owner Steve White said. “I think it’s really the biggest thing that going to make him feel better while he’s there.”
During the fundraising event, Sean Wylam, Apopka’s fire chief, called the community “extended family.”
“That’s what makes Apopka different,” he said. “He’s got a ton of support, one of the most awesome things the reason why we’re here today is the community outpouring of support and love shown towards Austin and our entire department.”
Other Central Florida firefighters associations shared their condolences with the Apopka Firefighters Association on Saturday.
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