Injured Fresno fire captain improving but remains in critical condition

Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern underwent surgery Wednesday evening and remains in critical condition, a burn center official said.

Earlier Wednesday, he was able to breathe on his own without the assistance of a ventilator, said Sandra Yovino, director of the Leon S. Peters Burn Center. Dern was severely burned Sunday when he fell through a garage roof into an inferno.

Also Wednesday, Dern was able to spend quality time with his immediate family and close friends, Yovino said. His pain was being controlled.

A video of Dern being engulfed in flames as he fell into the garage has drawn national attention.

A fundraising page has been established at youcaring.com to assist Dern’s family.

In addition, firefighters in Bakersfield have a weekend benefit planned to help Dern.

Television station KGET reported that Bakersfield city and Kern County firefighters will hold the Iron Man Omelet Challenge at the Broken Yolk Cafe.

The challenge consists of a 12-egg omelet plus home fries and two biscuits. The goal is to eat it all in one hour. The winner’s photo will be placed on Broken Yolk’s wall, and the winner will be awarded an extra $1,000 donated by the cafe.

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