The West

Firefighters suffer life-threatening burns
One of the women burned leaves the aircraft for transfer to hospital by ambulance. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Two women firefighters who suffered life threatening burns remain in a critical condition in Royal Perth Hospital.

A spokesman for the hospital said both had been badly burnt, with one in a critical condition and the other in a critical but stable condition.

The firefighters, one with burns to 20 per cent of her body, were flown to Perth on Friday night after they suffered life-threatening injuries while fighting a fire at a private property near Albany.

The women, aged 45 and 24, had been tackling the blaze at the property near Two Peoples Bay with about 20 other firefighters when the incident happened about 3pm Friday.

The second woman, 24, is believed to have suffered burns to 40 per cent of her body.

Both women are Department of Conservation firefighters.

Four other members of the group sustained minor injuries and were taken to Albany Hospital.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority State duty director Bruce Jones said early reports were that the firefighters had been caught off guard when strong winds changed direction.

"Preliminary reports state that the firefighters were caught when strong winds caused the fire to suddenly change direction on a slope," Mr Jones said.

"During the incident, two appliances were burnt out and three others sustained damage.

"An investigation will now be undertaken and FESA fire investigators will work with police, DEC and the City of Albany to establish exactly what happened."

Two Royal Flying Doctor Service planes sent to Albany to transport the injured firefighters arrived at Jandakot Airport after 11pm Friday night.

A WA Country Health Service spokesman said two of the patients taken to Albany Hospital were discharged Friday night, while the other two were in a stable condition.

Mr Jones said FESA would continue to work with the local government brigades to fight the blaze which started at about 9.30am Friday.

The West Australian

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