Firefighters battle flames, oppressive heat during holiday

West Bay

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Scorching temperatures, heavy gear and fighting flames didn’t bode well for a number of firefighters this Fourth of July.

Eyewitness News meteorologists reported temperatures reaching 90 degrees in some areas Thursday, making for a hot and humid holiday.

East Greenwich Fire Captain Ken Montville told Eyewitness News crews responding to a basement fire on High Hawk Road weren’t just battling the flames – but the heat as well.

“Our initial crews took a little bit of a beating,” Montville said. “We had to rest them a little bit longer than we normally would if it was a little bit cooler.”

There were no major injuries, according to Montville, and the Providence Canteen responded to the scene to ensure everyone stayed hydrated.

It was a similar scene in Johnston Friday morning as crews worked to extinguish a fire caused by improperly discarded charcoal from a grill.

Johnston Fire Chief Peter Lamb said several firefighters had to be treated as a precaution due to the oppressive heat and humidity. He said none of the firefighters were injured.

“You put on 40 or 50 pounds of gear, an air pack, and enter a heated structure and it just compounds it,” Lamb said.

Both Lamb and Montville said their departments typically dispatch a larger response team during hot and humid weather, which allows them to rotate crews in and out while continuing to fight the fire.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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