Oregon firefighter welcomed home after 4 months in hospital - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Oregon firefighter welcomed home after 4 months in hospital


An Oregon firefighter is home after spending the last four months in the hospital undergoing treatments and physical therapy.

His arrival home is celebrated by more than 150 friends and family members.

 Over 85 percent of Thomas Jones' body was burned when his own garage caught fire in August. Doctors didn't know if he'd make it.

"Touch and go, I guess for the first three days were the worst," says Steve Janssen, Thomas' Father-in-Law to be.

 Now on Christmas Eve, Thomas' family and friends gather to welcome him home. His fiance Chelsy Janssen helped organize this special homecoming.  

" We kept it all a secret from Thomas so it's be a surprise, "says Steve.

Thomas was hurt while working on a demolition car in his garage. Investigators think a torch exploded, and started the blaze that sent him to the hospital.  Now, Thomas is escorted home by his former brothers on the Oregon fire department.

 A fellow firefighter Aaron Moore says it's an honor to welcome him home. "It was a hard hit for us and being him home on Christmas eve is the best gift any one of us could have. Just super happy to have our best friend and brother back in town with us."

After suffering such a major injury, Thomas' friend Alyse Vickers is happy to report his health is improving rapidly, "He's doing really great, he can walk on his own now, his voice is getting stronger and his sense of humor is back."

A sense of humor that he did not hold back.

"He said 'don't play with fire,' that's what he told us," says Aaron.  

No one seems to mind standing out in the cold, even on Christmas Eve.

"Our whole town is just an awesome support system, it's one of the beauties of being from a small town and just knowing everyone. It's a beautiful thing," says Alyse.

Now home, Thomas has a list of things he wants to get done.

"He misses his dogs, and that's where he's at right now is seeing his pups,"  says Aaron.

Aaron also says Thomas stopped at the location where the fire took place, as a way to finish the healing process.

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