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Burn Victim, 12, Spends Day As A Firefighter

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A boy burned in a bonfire accident more than a year ago refuses to let that dash his dreams. A boy burned in a bonfire accident more than a year ago refuses to let that dash his dreams.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A boy burned in a bonfire accident more than a year ago refuses to let that dash his dreams.

He spent months in a metro burn unit, but he is more determined than ever to go into a career where he'll face the fire that put him in the hospital.

Collen Elkins, 12, wants to be a firefighter.

In pursuit of his dream, Collen reported Tuesday to Oklahoma City's fire station 7 just in time for breakfast.

The crew did not put him on light duty.

"We went over everything.. how to do laundry, how to do dishes, he helped us cook," said Oklahoma City fire district chief Shane Williams.

When the chores were done, Collen got to have some fun, too.

As honorary firefighter for the day, he received a lot of hands-on training.

He got to climb into the 90-foot platform bucket, pull lines and even go out on a call with the crew.

Williams and Oklahoma City fire Maj. Dave Maynard agreed Collen has already proven he has the qualities necessary for the job.

Such as the bravery shown during his recovery from a bonfire accident that left him with burns to more than 60 percent of his body.

"For him to want to come to the fire station and continue to pursue a career in the fire service says a lot about his courage and ability to stick with it," said Maynard.

The aspiring firefighter was also an inspiration to the crew.

"It sort of took me back to why I wanted to do this job and it was fun to see him light up," said Maynard.

While Collen plans to someday do the work but for the day the crew says they focused on having fun.

"After the year he's had, God knows he deserves it," said Maynard

Days like this one are special to these firefighters.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department often works with burn victims through its outreach program by visiting hospitals in the metro.

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