LIMESTONE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — An incredible video posted to Facebook by Limestone Police has been viewed thousands of times.
It captures the moments as first responders arrive on the scene of a fire when suddenly a massive propane tank explodes, knocking the police officer and firefighters to the ground.
Limestone Police Chief, Stacey Mahan, who posted the video, can be heard yelling to Scott Patten, a firefighter who was just about to take a fire hose to the blaze.
“I'm lucky to even be alive,” Patten said. ”I heard the propane tanks start whistling and the next thing I knew I was on the ground."
The powerful blast sent flames soaring, severely burning Patten’s face and head.
"I had a guardian angel watching out for me that day,” he told NEWS CENTER for the first time Monday.
Just out of the hospital, Patten was thankful as he inspected his gear at the Limestone fire station. Part of it was completely charred by flames.
"Had the fireball been five more feet past the truck, I think we would have caught a little bit of it, but I think we were fortunate,” Mahan said.
Police Chief Stacey Mahan said he posted the dramatic video to Facebook to show how important volunteer firefighters like Patten are to Maine communities.
"Volunteer firefighters, the time and effort they put into their profession, they don't get paid a lot to do what they do and they can pay a big sacrifice in an instance like that,” said Mahan.
Mahan called Patten a hero, but Patten shrugged off the accolade saying serious sacrifices are just a reality for any First Responder.
Mahan hopes the message goes far beyond the small town in northern Maine, and reminds everyone how crucial men and women on the front lines are to communities. He said it also speaks to the comradery of the police and fire service.
"I think there's a lot of caring for eachother that people don't see behind the scenes and instances like this really show how much we do care for eachother,” Mahan said.
Patten plans to go back to work in the next couple of weeks.
"It's what I volunteered to do. I've been doing it for 29 years,” said Patten.