Lexington firefighter talks about experience helping with Florida condo collapse recovery efforts

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Lexington firefighter Captain Ryan Hogsten assisted crews in recovering victims from the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida.

So far, crews have pulled 97 bodies from the rubble over the last three weeks with several people still missing.

Captain Hogsten returned from Surfside a few days ago. He said being a part of the search and rescue team was quite the experience.

The captain was the only firefighter from Lexington to respond to the catastrophe. He traveled with the Ohio Task Force 1, which he has been a part of for the past 16 years.

The team traveled 1,300 miles from Dayton, Ohio to Florida. When they arrived, they encountered debris upon debris.

Hogsten says his crew relieved other search and rescue teams, cutting thick concrete with chainsaws and trying to recover as many people as they could.

At least 97 people died, the largest building collapse since 9/11. Hogsten is back home reflecting on his experience. He says he doesn’t feel like a hero, he was just trying to help.

“That’s what we’re trained for. That’s what we signed up for. We just want to make sure that people are OK,” he said.

Captain Hogsten said, if something like that were to happen again, he’d be ready to help.

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