Summer heat adds level of danger for firefighters

Summer heat adds level of danger for firefighters

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Danger from flames is not the only heat firefighters have to worry during the summer months.

"When there are extreme temperatures outside, it always makes things more difficult," said Curt Monte, Baton Rouge Fire Department. "On a day like today, we try to have as many crews on scene as we can to make sure we can rotate those individuals in and out so they can stay hydrated."

A crew of roughly 20 firefighters was called out to a home on Castlewood shortly after 11 a.m. The temperature outside was 89 degrees, which was only made worse by the billowing flames coming from the home.

"Firefighters cut a hole in the roof to help contain the fire," Monte said. "The purpose is to let fire vent from the hole in the roof, preventing it from traveling through the rest of the home."

It took about thirty minutes to get the fire under control.

"When the initial call came in, neighbors said they believed someone was trapped inside," Monte said. "Firefighters went through the home and searched twice before determining that no one was home."

By the time the homeowners returned, an estimated $100,000 worth of damage had been caused.

"The resident stated he left the house about thirty minutes prior to when the fire was called in," Monte said. "He didn't remember the stove being on, but investigators learned that was the cause."

Unattended cooking is the number one cause of house fires across the nation.

"Never walk out of the room with a pot unattended and always make sure your smoke detectors are working properly," Monte cautioned.

The Red Cross was called out to assist the family.

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