The under-construction Water’s Edge building on Truswell Road in Kelowna was engulfed in flames moments before it collapsed on July 8, 2017. (File)

The under-construction Water’s Edge building on Truswell Road in Kelowna was engulfed in flames moments before it collapsed on July 8, 2017. (File)

Burned Kelowna firefighter fully recovered, back to work

Chris Zimmermann is back with the Kelowna Fire Department after suffering burns in July 2017

A Kelowna firefighter who was severely burned in a 2017 blaze is back to work.

Chris Zimmermann suffered burns to his hands, back and calves while fighting a fire that destroyed an under-construction six-storey condo development on July 8, 2017.

On Monday, Coun. Mohini Singh shared with her fellow councillors that Zimmermann recently passed his tests and returned to work after two years of recovery.

At the time, Zimmermann was credited with saving the lives of three of his fellow firefighters, all of whom narrowly escaped the burning building prior to it collapsing.

In an interview the following week with the Capital News, Chris’ father and former fire chief Gerry Zimmerman, said the four had to descend by ladder through heavy black smoke to escape flames just before the building collapsed.

“Given the state of his hands, I have no idea how he did that,” said Gerry.

Gerry said in his long career as with the Kelowna Fire Department, he had not seen a firefighter badly burned as his son.

-With files from Alistair Waters

READ MORE: Burned Kelowna firefighter recovering

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@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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