The Truth Behind The Photo Of Firefighters That’s Being Shared Over Social Media

There are many professions that pose little-to-no threat to our lives. Let’s face it, who’s ever died filling out an Excel spreadsheet. However, there are many jobs out there where people are subjected to grave danger on a daily basis.

Firefighters are a crucially essential emergency service, and every single day, millions of civilians across the world depend on their skills and bravery. Whether they’re combatting a destructive apartment fire, or just saving a kitty that’s stuck in a tree, I think we can all agree that so many of us owe our lives to these brave men and women.

There’s evidence of firefighting as a public service dating back as far as ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, where watchmen would use historical devices in order to combat the flames. But the first fire brigades in the modern sense were established in Paris, France back in the early 18th century. Fast forward to 2017, and in the USA, a whopping 70% of firefighters are volunteers, who just want to help do their part for society.

There have been many recent tragedies across the world – both natural and manmade – that have seen fire departments stretched and tested beyond their capabilities. On such tragedy occurred in Portugal back in July, where over 2,600 firefighters attempted to extinguish 62 extremely hazardous forest fires which spread across several towns. The wildfires trapped a town of 20,000 people because the fires were so extensive that firefighters struggled to subdue it.

Luckily, the departments managed to evacuate about 130 people from surrounding villages, but the fire ultimately proved to be the deadliest the country has ever endured, claiming at least 60 people (the exact number is still unsure), and seriously injuring 86 civilians.

Many who perished passed away in their cars while they attempted to escape the fires.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the fire as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and feared that would death toll rise. He then declared three days of national mourning.

However, since the original outbreak, the widespread fires have once again hit people’s newfeeds, as a photo showing the Portuguese firefighters has been circulated around social media sites, leaving the internet stunned and confused.

The image shows 11 firefighters lying motionless on the ground – without any explanation – as smoke is still very present in the air.

Some users have shared the photograph explaining how the men and women in photograph succumbed to the smoke and died doing their job, whilst others believed it was some sort of “game” the firefighters were playing, whereas others questioned its legitimacy to the Portuguese fires at all.

There have been many questions, but finally the video below can explain exactly why the firefighters were snapped in such a bizarre manner…

So it turns out the firefighters were simply just physically and mentally exhausted from saving lives and combatting the flames. It may seem trivial, but how many of us can say that we’ve had to lie down and the ground surrounded by our colleagues, and just sleep because we were so drained. We may like to complain about our jobs, but it’s pictures like this one that remind us just how lucky we are we’re not risking our lives every day to save others.

Thankfully, none of these heroes perished in the flames or succumbed to the toxic smoke. We wish everyone affected by the fire all the very best, and once again would like to give a huge thank you to ever firefighter out there!


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