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Firefighters Injured During Training Exercise

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DUNN, N.C. — Two firefighters were injured during a controlled-burn training exercise at the former open-air market in Dunn about noon Saturday.

Investigators say the materials being used to start the fire accidentally reached ignition temperature and caused a flash fire while the instructor, Gary Pope, was prepping the building for the exercise.

Pope received first- and second-degree burns on his back and foot, and third degree burns on his ears. He was initially taken to Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital and later transported to the UNC Jaycee Burn Center, where he was treated and released the same night.

Firefighter Debra Spears, of the Dunn Fire Department, received second-degree burns on her left arm and was treated and released from Betsy Johnson.

Firefighter Josh Faircloth, of the Plainview Fire Department, was treated for elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate and released.

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