An Atlanta firefighter badly burned while battling a Thanksgiving night blaze has died, fire officials said.
Steven Solomon, 33, died early Wednesday in the burn unit at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated since the Thursday night fire in an abandoned Vine City house.
"We have truly lost a hero," Atlanta fire Chief Dennis Rubin said.
The married father of four, who had been with the Atlanta department for about four months, was previously with the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department for six years.
Atlanta fire Capt. Byron Kennedy said investigators have determined that the Thursday night blaze on Elm Street was caused by an unattended candle left by vagrants.
Solomon was inside the one-story frame house when vapors flared as temperatures soared to around 1,100 degrees, Kennedy said.
"When vapors get to temperatures above 1,000 degrees, they can ignite, and instead of flames, it produces super-hot smoke," Kennedy said last week. "Our protective gear can withstand temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees, but only for a few seconds."
Solomon suffered third-degree burns to his torso and legs, about 30 percent of his body.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 29, 2006