Fresno Fire captain to have more surgeries this week for fire-damaged skin

Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern remained in critical condition Monday but is scheduled for surgery early this week to remove more skin damaged in the fire and for temporary skin placement.

Dern’s pain is being controlled and he spent time with family and friends on Sunday, said Sandra Yovino, clinical director of the Leon S. Peters Burn Center.

A biopsy of Dern’s skin has been sent to a cell-processing plant to grow the firefighter’s own skin to help in his recovery. The new skin will be used as skin grafts for Dern, who was burned over 70% of his body on March 29 when he fell through a garage roof while fighting a house fire and was engulfed in flames.

A video of Dern falling through the roof has attracted national attention and his heroism has been reciprocated with fundraisers and blood drives.

But the public is being asked to be alert for possible fundraising scams, such as a T-shirt promotion that has appeared on Facebook, said Fresno Fire spokesman Pete Martinez. The only family-authorized fundraiser is an online youcaring.com account, which had raised more than $120,350 by Monday afternoon, he said. Checks also can sent to the Fresno firefighters credit union on behalf of Dern.