A Sacramento firefighter’s Facebook post showing photos of third degree burns he suffered while on duty has gone viral.
Aaron Williams was battling a house fire on April 8 when he suffered third degree burns to 16 percent of his body, Fox 40 reported. He said he was hit with flames from a flash over that burned right through parts of his gear within 30 seconds of entering the home.
“You're lost, you can't see in front of you, you can’t see your way out. It's a humbling feeling,” Williams told Fox 40.
Williams said he survived because one of his colleagues pulled him to safety. He took to Facebook on Feb. 6 to post photos of the aftermath and it quickly went viral.
“I don't even have a lot of Facebook friends either, so the fact that it was able to get so widespread is amazing in itself,” Williams said about the post, which has been shared more than 30,000 times.
But Williams had other reasons for posting the photos.
In January, the Sacramento Bee published an article that cited Sacramento Metro Firefighters as the top earners for the region, making about $200,000 to $300,000 per year.
“A Local Area Newspaper recently published an article on excessive pay earned by Local Area Firefighters,” Williams wrote. “Although I don't work for said department that was being lambasted, We All Stand Together. So here is my response to the Criticism.”
Williams told the news station that most of that money comes from overtime and comes at no cost to taxpayers. He said the money is reimbursed 100 percent by state and federal funds and that he felt the article did not paint a clear picture as to where the money comes from.
The Sacramento Bee responded to Williams’ post in an article on Feb. 10.
“Our story was a straight forward analysis of public spending, something the Bee does regularly,” the article stated.
Williams insisted that his intention was not to criticize the newspaper, but to inform people and show support for firefighters, especially those who helped him through his injury.
“My whole motivation of writing the post I did was to return the love and tell them I had their back just like they had mine,” Williams said.