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Community rallies for 16-year-old firefighter’s homecoming

Tuesday, Jul. 28 | By Michael Melkonian
Volunteer firefighter, Adam Glaze, 16, greets friends and family at his homecoming from a D.C. hospital.
Family, friends and neighbors lined Rectortown Road in front of the Marshall fire house to welcome home injured firefighter Adam Glaze from the hospital.

Glaze spent the past week in a D.C. burn unit, Washington MedStar Hospital, after suffering third-degree burns battling a blaze in The Plains Sunday, July 19. Glaze’s burns on his legs were so bad, he needed skin graft surgery.

In a firehouse tradition, he rode back to the station in Wagon 3, the truck he jumped in more than a week ago to race to the structure fire in The Plains. The crowd of about 80 people waved American flags and cheered as his truck and a procession of fire and rescue command vehicles crossed Main Street in Marshall.

The truck pulled into the station parking lot and Glaze gingerly stepped down, bandages around his calves and left arm. The crowd welcomed him with hugs and handshakes. Eventually, he posed for a photo with the Wagon 3 crew from the fire on Sunday, all smiles for the reunion.

Then he posed for a photo with his family.

His father, Charlie Glaze, said the turnout was unbelievable. But the past week has been challenging as a father.

“At first it was breathtaking and really scary,” Charlie Glaze said

Paramedics on scene treated his son’s burns, then a medic took him to Fauquier Hospital. Eventually though, his wounds looked so bad, doctors made the decision to transfer him to the burn unit in D.C.

“This is major,” Charlie Glaze said. “He’s banged up pretty good. But he looked a lot worse the first 24 hours.”

But the paramedics on scene, decision to move to burn-unit care and the training provided by Fauquier County instructors helped tremendously, his father said.

Charlie Glaze, in the fire service for over 40 years, said he’s seen firefighters die and close friends suffer life-changing injuries. But as bad as his son looked on the first day, he knew it wasn’t to that level.

Adam Glaze was a hero Monday night when he rode back into town with his crew. He mingled with family and friends as the sun set and the crowd thinned. Chief Eddie Payne, Marshall Volunteer Fire Company, said the community support was amazing to see.

“As we crossed the intersection, and saw those people, he had a smile on his face,” Payne said.

The fire in The Plains sent three firefighters, including volunteer Glaze, to the hospital with burns. A few days later, firefighter union president addressed an open letter to the Board of Supervisors demanding more funding for career staff to support the volunteers.

The board hasn't publicly responded and the investigation into the fire in The Plains is ongoing.

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