MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s been a busy day for Memphis firefighters as they battle flames in the oppressive heat. Crews responded to at least two fires on Tuesday and sadly one person died.
Memphis Firefighters spent hours at a house fire off Brockcrest Cove in Raleigh Tuesday morning. Investigators told WREG crews discovered a man dead in a bedroom.
A short time later, and a few miles away, teams took on another fire in North Memphis off Berkshire Avenue while battling flames in the blazing sun.
“All of that gear is roughly 100 pounds,” Hunter Smith from MFD said.
Add all that gear to a high-stress, high-heat environment and people overheat quickly.
The US Fire Administration said the average house fire now with the construction components and the furniture burns around 1,500 degrees.
Combine all that with these boiling temperatures, extra precautions must be taken.
“The heat definitely does play a factor in some of our processes,” Smith said.
Hunter Smith with MFD said the department has a high heat advisory.
“Where we dispatch additional equipment, meaning more personnel to alarms. We add several pieces of equipment to help deal with the high temperatures. The triggers for that are 105 heat index for two days in a row, three hours or greater during those two days or any single event where the heat index goes over 115 for at any point of time.”
They’re monitoring crews while working during the intense heat.
“We have parameters in place where you work some and then you rest for a set amount of time,” Smith said. “More or less, you hydrate, you have your vitals checked, you find shade, you remove as much of that protective ensemble as you can to get out of the heat,” Smith said.
They’re making sure everyone stays safe, all the while everyone on the call is looking out for each other, in case someone starts to feel ill.
“We monitor them very closely to make sure that it doesn’t get too compounded into something that could be a true emergency,” Smith said.
The cause of death in that Raleigh fire has not yet been determined. The cause of the fire is also under investigation.