OREGON (WIFR) – A local firefighter who almost died in an explosion one year ago is returning to the hobby that nearly took his life.
Thomas Jones’ family says the fact the 26 year old is walking today is a testament to his resolve and spirit. Tonight, he participated in the demolition derby at the Ogle County Fair in for the first time since the former Oregon volunteer firefighter suffered third degree burns on almost ninety percent of his body after the gas tank of his derby car exploded while he was working on it at his home last August. Doctors gave him a 5 percent chance of living, but after three months in the hospital, 4 skin graft surgeries, and many more months of grueling physical therapy, Jones not only competed tonight, he made it through to the final round.
Jones says he still suffers from nerve damaged in his legs as a result of the explosion. His fiancée Chelsy Janssen was also injured in the explosion and suffered burns and scarring on her arms.