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Firefighter hit by ammunition undergoes 5-hour operation to save eye

April 6, 2010 |  4:32 pm

A Ventura County firefighter underwent five hours of surgery at UCLA Medical Center after suffering a serious eye injury while fighting a house fire in Thousand Oaks.

Paul Torres, 36, was hurt when ammunition stored inside the home went off during the blaze. Doctors at UCLA worked to save the vision in Torres' right eye, said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Ron Oatman.

Doctors were guardedly optimistic that the operation was a success, but it's too early to know the degree to which the injury will effect his vision, officials said.

Family, friends and Fire Department colleagues have been holding vigil at UCLA.

Torres was one of several firefighters to respond to a house fire the erupted Monday afternoon on Laurelwood Court. According to the Fire Department, the fire caused propane canisters and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to explode. Some of that material hit Torres.

--Shelby Grad

Photo: Ventura County Fire Department