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.