San Luis Obispo firefighter makes strong ‘American Ninja Warrior’ debut

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 00:34:44-04

The San Luis Obispo firefighter who saved his family’s home from the Thomas Fire and used orange juice to save a neighbor’s house tore through a challenging obstacle course on NBC’s "American Ninja Warrior."

In an episode that aired Wednesday night on KSBY, Thomas Kofron was the first athlete to complete the Qualifiers course – and he did it in front of his parents, who made the trip to Los Angeles to cheer him on.

When asked how he felt about the accomplishment, Kofron grinned from ear to ear and said, "It’s unbelievable! It’s great! I love it!"

Before he competed, Kofron retold the story of his Thomas Fire heroics.

"I love being able to serve my community, I love the challenge that firefighting presents, but I never thought I’d be fighting California’s largest fire in my parents’ own backyard," said Kofron. "I was all by myself. I didn’t have a crew. I probably ran 200-300 laps around the house, just extinguishing small fires – putting out the front yard, the mailbox."

"We lost water pressure. There was no water coming out of the hoses. All I had was water bottles and a half-jug of orange juice."

"I can’t find the words to say the gratitude that I feel for what Thomas did, saving our home," said his dad, Chris Kofron. "I’m incredibly proud of him."

Thomas Kofron now moves on to the City Finals.

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