TULSA, Okla. - "A near miss"- that's how Tulsa firefighters described the extremely dangerous situation Tuesday afternoon.
2NEWS were first on the scene as firefighters ran into a burning Midtown Tulsa home believing two kids were trapped inside. Turned out, the blaze nearly caught four firefighters.
Four Tulsa Fire helmets, face shields and a face mask were all scorched. The plastic looked like crinkled up Saran wrap.
Captain Justin Breedlove and three others wore that gear. The men were forced to find an escape route when unbearable high heat mixed with 30 mile per hour wind created one big fire fan swirling around firefighters.
"You see this red and orange and yellow ocean. It's circling in this room, like nothing we've ever seen before. When we weren't making any headway and we turned around and saw the fire behind us, now we're trapped between two walls of fire" Breedlove said.
Captain Jose Ariza stressed melted helmets, shields and face mask are extremely rare.
Investigators are looking into what happened, but Ariza said one theory is a "flash over." A flash over is where everything in the house, even smoke, explodes.
"Right now these are just pieces of gear on the table. Yesterday afternoon, these had our firefighters' heads in the middle of it" said Ariza.
Last time a fire melted gear was Barnard Elementary in September 2012.
Eight firefighters came out with second and third degree burns. Doctors graffed skin on ears, hands and legs.
The four helmets are now "out of service", a badge of honor firefighters aren't allowed to take home. Justin said the ultimate honor is going home to his six-year-old and wife.
"It scared me for a minute too. The times you look at that and think 'this is something I haven't seen and we want to get out.' Spending time with my daughter is precious, every second is precious" said Breedlove.
Justin and his crew resorted back to their training where you get out of a burning building by following the fire hose outside.
Firefighters said two kids lit a basket of paper on fire earlier in the day then moved it from inside the house to the back patio.