Fellow firefighters call Joe Yeakley a "great role model and firefighter"
POSTED: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 7:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 6:27pm
Lindale, Tx (KETK) — Two firefighters have been injured, one of them critically, after battling an early morning house fire in Lindale.The fire began just after 1:00 a.m. in the 15,000 block of Childress Dr. The homeowner was able to make it out safely. However, Joe Yeakley, a Lindale firefighter, was in the house when part of the roof collapsed.
Yeakley was flown to Parkland Medical in Dallas and is listed in critical condition. He suffers burns on his hands and face. The station hopes he can pull through his injuries.
He is a volunteer at the department and has been for the past 14 years. Friends and fellow firefighters tell us Yeakley is a great role model and firefighter.
And one of his close co-workers, Jeremy Layton tells us Yeakley is like a father to him. He met Yeakley eight years ago when he joined the department.
"Joe was all around just a great firefighter, a great person and just a great person to hang around," said Layton.
Layton said he's always looked up to him.
"Joe was one of those guys when I joined he grabbed me by the hand and helped me through everything."
They got really close about two years ago when Yeakley brought him to church. That is when it instantly became a somewhat father and son relationship.
"Joe's helped me through all my troubles. He's always been there for me and so were just there for each other all the time."
Layton was at the fire last night with Yeakley and said he saw him before he was taken in an ambulance and then later flown to Parkland Medical. Layton said the station hopes he can pull through his injuries.
"Joe is hurt so everybody's hurt."
One of the firefighters that saved Yeakley was 19 - year - old Caleb Snider with Dixie Fire Department. He suffered second degree burns on both arms while saving Yeakley.
Snider attended Kilgore Fire Academy and has been with Dixie a little over a year. Dixie Fire Chief Matt York said it's a very unfortunate situation but Snider is very, very lucky.
All fire departments are asking to keep Yeakley in your thoughts and prayers.