By Bill Shields

REVERE (CBS) – A Revere firefighter is back on duty after an extremely close call where he was badly injured at an apartment fire in Chelsea last year.

It’s been almost a 16-month recovery for Lt. Rob DeMauro but Friday, he returned to the firehouse on Revere Beach Parkway. With his injuries, DeMauro sometimes wondered if this day would ever come.

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The Chelsea Apartment Fire (WBZ-TV)

“I had kind of a traumatic brain injury and I broke my neck and I broke my back,” DeMauro said.

It was June of 2016 and Revere firefighters were helping out at a big apartment fire in Chelsea. DeMauro and his crew were around the back of the building when without warning, part of the roof came down on them. “Part of the roof came down on top of all three of us,” DeMauro says.

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Revere Firefighter Lt. Rob DeMauro (WBZ-TV)

His two fellow firefighters weren’t hurt as bad as DeMauro. It was as if he took the brunt of the roof collapse. Months of rehab have brought him back to work but it did not return his memory.

“I remember being at the fire but at a certain point I can’t remember anything after I got hit,” DeMauro says.

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Lt. Rob DeMauro (WBZ-TV)

DeMauro says he is back where he belongs and is feeling strong. “Yeah it’s definitely a camaraderie, the guys are the best,” DeMauro says.

Bill Shields