After a 30-year career facing the kind of flame that injured three Sacramento City firefighters Monday morning, Jim Doucette knows what those men are facing as their bodies and spirits fight to recover.
"There injuries will heal, but it's an emotional, traumatic situation so you hear about post traumatic stress syndrome. There's a chance they may have some of that," said Doucette, executive director of the Firefighters Burn Institute.
As executive director his daily mission is to raise money to help fund the UC Davis burn unit now treating those who race in toward what most of us can't imagine.
"I've been on calls like that and it's scary...it's like being in war you know. it's life and death and things happen in a split second," said Doucette.
Twenty-year department veteran Captain Gary Pimentel, ten-year veteran Adam Mc Kahan and probationary firefighter Alex Galang were all hurt as a floor collapsed into the basement of a burning home on 22nd Avenue.
Doucette's visited all three men and says Galang's injuries are the most severe.
"Arms and hands were the worst," he said.
"Firefighters went down to the basement, floor collapsed into the basement and then another firefighter ran in to try and help and he collapsed too," said homeowner Corey Beams.
Doucette knows Captain Pimentel well.
"Gary's a good firefighter, a good person...a great family man" he said.
A man,who like firefighter McKahan, didn't want to spend the night in the hospital though he was battling smoke inhalation.
The burn unit that will help heal them, the one that Doucette fights for every day, was inspired by a plane crash at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor that killed 23 people in Sacramento, injuring dozens of others.
"If it wasn't for the plane crash back in 1972, there's a chance Sacramento wouldn't have a burn unit. Something bad happened back then, but something good came of of it....There is no better burn care anywhere in the world than there is here in Sacramento," he said.
Two of the three firefighters injured Monday may be able to leave the hospital as early as Tuesday.