Firefighters battle heat exhaustion with temperatures in the mid - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters battle heat exhaustion with temperatures in the mid 90s

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Firefighters answered several calls over the weekend with scorching hot temperatures topping out at 97 degrees. Saturday marked the hottest day of 2016 so far in the Scenic City. 

"It's a brutally hot today," said Lt. Eddie Iles, Red Bank Fire Dept. "It's miserable, that's about the only thing I can say is it's miserable," 

Firefighters come to the rescue, battling fire and the heat on the hottest of days. 

"With the high heat it just takes a toll on the firefighters," said Daniel Hague, Chief of Special Operations, Chattanooga Fire Dept. 

They've been busy running calls back to back. A home on Cove Ridge Rd. caught fire late Friday night, while family members were at Riverbend, no one was injured but the house is a total loss.
 
A Chattanooga man wasn't so lucky, he suffered 2nd degree burns to both of his forearms on Saturday. He tells Channel 3, he was trying to putting out a small fire inside his 6th Avenue home, when it got out of control. 

Another local family was displaced after a fire destroyed their home on Parker Loop Road, Saturday. The cause of the blaze is now under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. 

An abandoned house caught fire early Sunday morning, causing an estimated $20,000 dollars in damage, it too is under investigation. 
 
To combat the heat, additional companies are on standby to take over along with EMS.
  
 "We come out, we hydrate, we go back in," said Lt. Iles. "So that's why we called in so many mutual aid companies over the weekend is just because we have to hydrate and rotate people in and out."

A house fire on Ravenwood Drive, took several hours to get under control, putting firefighters in danger of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. While the conditions can be miserable, firefighters say it's their duty and passion to help others in need. 

"You've got to have a passion to do this, it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter and you've got to love to serve the people around you," said lt. Iles. 

Several firefighters have already been sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion injury this year. Officials say a firefighter's gear can add an extra 75 pounds. 

"Then you go into a room that's on fire and it's maybe 3 or 4 hundred degrees inside there so it's like crawling inside of your oven and watching your cookies bake," said Chief Hague. 

Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid 90's through Friday. Local fire departments hope the community will take extra precaution, practicing fire safety for our firefighters. There is a ban on burning of all types from May 1 through September 30.  

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