GLENDALE — Nearly 15 years ago, Glendale Firefighter Bill Jensen and five fellow firefighters were battling a massive blaze in Calabasas when the winds suddenly changed direction. Jenson was caught in the flames. He was burned on more than 70% of his body.
Doctors gave him a 5% chance of survival. But Jensen fought through the pain and overcame his injuries.
“I was unlucky enough to get injured that day, but lucky enough to be the one to walk these footsteps for the last 14 years,” Jensen said.
The now-retired firefighter’s struggle caught the attention of renowned sculptor Michael Kalish, who unveiled his 15-foot-tall, 400-pound monument depicting a firefighter’s turnout coat and helmet on Thursday at Glendale Fire Department headquarters on Oak Street in honor of Jensen.
“If I can create a bucket list of pieces that I would create in my lifetime, I would say the top percentage of that…is something for a firefighter,” Kalish said.