highland hills apartments

Dallas Firefighter Badly Burned in Apartment Explosion Headed Home

Two firefighters remain hospitalized more than two weeks after the explosion at the Highland Hills apartments

Dallas Fire-Rescue

Dallas Fire-Rescue says one of the three firefighters hospitalized after an explosion at a southeastern Dallas apartment building last month is headed home.

Officer Pauline Perez, who joined the department in July 2019, was discharged from Parkland Memorial Hospital Friday after spending more than two weeks in the hospital's burn unit.

In a tweet Friday afternoon, DFR asked for continued prayers for Perez whose "journey is not over" and is still recovering and rehabilitating from her injuries.

Photos shared by the department Friday showed Perez with apparent burns to her hands, arms, head, and legs.

The photos also showed a warm sendoff from the hospital attended by Fire Chief Dominique Artis and dozens of other firefighters, many of whom joined Perez in prayer before her departure.

Dallas Fire-Rescue
Firefighter Pauline Perez, seated, foreground, talks with Dallas Fire Chief Dominique Artis, standing, before being discharged from Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Oct. 15, 2021.

She also shared a hug with her captain who was also critically injured in the blast and remains hospitalized.

In all, four firefighters from Fire Station 25 were hurt on Sept. 29 while investigating a gas leak at the Highland Hills Apartments in southeastern Dallas. As the firefighters looked for the source of the leak, an explosion occurred that partially collapsed part of one of the two-story apartment buildings.

Dallas Fire-Rescue
Capt. Christopher Gadomski, in red, holds hands in prayer with firefighter Pauline Perez, foreground, before she is discharged from Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Oct. 15, 2021.

Earlier this week, the department said all four firefighters who were injured agreed to release their identities and share their conditions with the public.

Perez, along with Capt. Christopher Gadomski, Engineer Ronald Hall, and Officer Andrew Curtis were all hurt in the blast. Curtis suffered a foot injury and was discharged the same day while the other three were hospitalized and treated for burns and other critical injuries.

Dallas Fire-Rescue
Dallas Fire-Rescue Officer Pauline Perez was discharged from Parkland Memorial Hospital on Oct. 15, 2021. after being badly burned in an explosion on Sept. 29, 2021.

At last check, Gadomski and Hall were reported to be in stable, but serious condition.

Dr. Marshal Isaacs, Medical Director for Dallas Fire-Rescue, said Thursday that the injured firefighters have "long roads of recovery ahead of them.”

A GoFundMe established for the firefighters said they will likely experience unforeseen medical expenses for the rest of their lives.

At this time, the cause of the explosion is still undetermined.

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