A photo of Capt. John Cunningham showing a child proper extinguisher safety at the 2012 Milton Public Safety Fair.
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -
The captain of the Milton Fire Department was burned Monday afternoon in a house fire and explosion in Gwinnett County.
It happened on Sundale Drive. John Cunningham was underneath the house working on the A/C unit when the explosion occurred.
Investigators said something may have triggered a natural gas explosion.
Tammy Cunningham told CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska that her husband was taken to Grady Burn Center.
"He got a lot of burns on his hands and forearms, some on his torso and just heat burn up in his face," Tammy Cunningham said. "He was awake, alert and talking with rescue units when they got here. He said the house exploded and he got caught in the fire."
After the explosion Tammy Cunningham said her husband was blown back away from the ignition source which protected him from getting burned even worse. John Cunningham was able to get out of the basement and went into his home to save some of the family pets. Three cats died in the fire.
Bricks could be seen strewn across the yard. The siding ripped off the house, and a door was blown off its hinges.
Capt. John Cunningham, 49, has been with the city of Milton Fire Department since its launch in May 2007.
Previously, he spent 26 years at the Fulton County Fire Department, where he retired.
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