Crowd cheers Springfield firefighter as he leaves hospital after rehab from injury

Dozens of community members lined the lobby area of Springfield Regional Medical Center on Friday as a firefighter seriously injured on the job last month was released after a week of rehab there.

Firefighter James “Rob” Baise smiled and shook hands with the crowd there to wish him well in his recovery. Supporters included fellow Springfield Fire Rescue Division team members, recruits, medical personnel, family, friends and community members.

Baise injured his neck while fighting a house fire in what officials believed was a flashover event, in which flames suddenly spread rapidly with little to no warning.

Blaise was flown by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, and he was released Sept. 30 from there, returning to Springfield for additional rehab care.

After his release Friday from Springfield Regional, the department posted pictures and said: “Please join us in wishing him well as he continues his recovery. He still has a road ahead of him.”

“We feel blessed he’s making his recovery,” Fire Chief Brian Miller said.

Firefighter Rob Baise was released from SRMC’s rehab center today after being injured in a fire two weeks ago. Please join us in wishing him well as he continues his recovery. He still has a road ahead of him.

Posted by Springfield Fire Rescue Division on Friday, October 7, 2022

The fire that injured Baise happened Sept. 25 at 603 Rice St. An electrical issue sparked the fire, Miller said previously.

Crews evacuated the building after a sudden increase in temperature, a suspected flashover. Other firefighters realized Baise did not make it out, re-entered, found him at the base of the stairs and pulled him out.

Firefighters around the country have faced more flashover events, which happen when gases get superheated in a room and ignite suddenly, causing a rapid explosion of flame. They are dangerous to firefighters, who can face injury or death from flashover events.

Baise’s injuries initially were considered critical, but Miller said Baise has shown steady improvement since.

Four other Springfield firefighters also were injured that day, suffering smoke inhalation and exposure to high heat that sent them to Springfield Regional. They were all treated and had returned to work previously.

Four people inside the house escaped before fire crews arrived.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby