Firefighters battle intense heat inside and outside burning home

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- "When we arrived, we had fire shooting out of the windows of the south bedroom.   Pretty much the fire was contained to that bedroom," said Chief Marty Hamrick, with the Jonesboro Fire Department.

Authorities say no one was home during the fire on Strawfloor Road just after noon on Tuesday.  No one was injured in the fire, and fire officials wanted to make sure no one got injured fighting the fire either.

"We try to just rotate the guys, keep them fresh...not overwork them while they're inside the structure.   We'll call in units from the other side of the city to help out so we're not taxing our people in case they have another one today," said Hamrick.

While they're used to fighting fires,  Jonesboro firefighters got a double dose of the intense heat both inside the burning house and outside where temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees.

"Heat stress can set on you really quick, and it's pretty obvious the stuff we wear makes it that much worse," said Hamrick.

Hamrick says the gear can weigh up to 60 pounds...making the heat both inside and outside that much harder to handle, and that much more dangerous.

"It's very rough on them.   It's rough on anybody as hot as it's been here lately," said paramedic, Steve Walters.

Walters was also on hand if anyone needed medical assistance due to the excessive heat.

"We provide cool towels for them.   They also have copious amounts of water for them right now on the scene.   We stand by just to make sure that none of them go down because of the heat, and if they do, we will transport them to the hospital," said Walters.

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