‘Fought this fight like a warrior:’ Apopka firefighter dies weeks after significant work injury

Austin Duran was injured on June 30

Twenty-five year old Apopka firefighter succumbed to injuries sustained in June

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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About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.