ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It was an outpouring of emotion and love on Wednesday afternoon for Clermont Police Officer Kris Kruse. Kruse, 21, suffered burns to 60 percent of his body after an accident Sunday night, and his family is pleading with the public to send prayers his way.
"Right now, we live hour to hour. Doctors have given him a 50-50 chance right now," said father Jack Kruse. He and wife Jill say they are devastated.
After the Super Bowl on Sunday evening, Kruse attempted to move a gas tank for safety, when it exploded. His body was engulfed in flames. Kruse was transported by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he remains heavily sedated in the Intensive Care Unit.
Kris Kruse joined the force in July of last year. Jack Kruse, who is also an officer with the Clermont Police Department, is dealing with his own off-duty injuries following a paragliding accident in January. Now, the family is receiving an overwhelming amount of support on social media. There has also been a Go Fund Me account set up for Kruse.
"Many of the people that are funding that, don't even know him. I'm just totally flabbergasted by that," said Jack, "as I am by many of the Facebook posts. So many people around the country, jumping on the story and sharing their prayers and thoughts. It's just been amazing."
In addition to the Go Fund Me account, the police union has set up a family benefit fund through Fifth Third Bank, under the name "Benefit for Officer Kruse Clermont Police Department." Donations can be made at any Fifth Third Bank branch.