Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Mahle is recovering from a broken leg suffered while he investigated a house fire.
On May 18 Mahle was investigating a fire of a mobile home in St. Mathias Township when he fell through the fire-damaged floor and broke his leg.
"I tried to stay on floor joists as best I could when I was working there, and I took one step the wrong way and it's all it took," said Mahle, whose full weight came down upon his left leg, breaking both the tibia and fibula. "It's a spiral fracture," said Mahle. "It spirals up the whole length of one bone."
Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Mahle was injured while investigating a house fire.
Mahle was treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, where he underwent surgery to install a plate in his leg, he said. He expects to be off his feet for another week.
"I'm not supposed to bear weight on it at all," said Mahle. "I've got to stay off it, take care of it, and hopefully she'll heal up good."
Mahle, who announced his resignation May 3, had planned his actual last day of work as fire chief to be May 27. Using accrued vacation and earned floating hours, his official last day was set as July 14.
Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt said Mahle is covered by workers' compensation and he will be using some sick leave.
"As far as what that means to his final date of employment, we're doing some research," said Vogt.
Mahle said he would expect to extend his employment with the city because he would like to finish several job tasks he had started before he was injured.
The Brainerd Police and Fire Civil Service Commission has authorized Vogt to request proposals from outside consulting firms that would head the search to find qualified candidates for the fire chief's position. The commission, which meets again June 2, also is accepting letters of interest from current firefighters to be acting fire chief.
The St. Mathias Township fire occurred May 8. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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