Talk about a close one. A firefighter in Alberta, Canada, barely outran what the St. Albert Fire Services has referred to as a “fire tornado.”
Onlooker Stuart Loomis captured the above video of the April 14 fire off Big Lake, which is just northwest of Edmonton, and firefighter Vincent Pashko’s escape from the towering twister of flames and black smoke. The blaze was from a grass fire that started from an out-of-control campfire, officials told Canada’s CTV News.
“When the guys screamed, ‘Watch out,’ I turned around and all I could see was just a huge wall of black ash … and then I just felt the heat come up from behind and I could feel that I was starting to burn up,” the firefighter told CTV News.
Pashko dived into the Sturgeon River to escape the fire tornado.
“I just went kind of face first [into] the lake and my face was quite hot [and] the back of my ears were quite hot.”
Fortunately, he came out of the situation with just minor burns to his ears, and returned to work the next day.
Watch Pashko make his dramatic escape in the video above.