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Firefighters face two battles putting out home fire in scorching heat

Fire on Montoya Drive. Courtesy: Tracy Chenault

A home in the Upper Valley suffered extensive damage after a fire broke out.

The fire, at a home located off Montoya Drive, led emergency crews to tape off several blocks of Country Club Road.

Fire crews told CBS4 the scorching heat in El Paso made their job even harder.

“I’ve already had like six bottles of water and I’ve been here at least an hour,” Lt. Paul Thompson said.

Thompson, with El Paso Fire Department, battled Tuesday’s fire in triple digit temperatures.

“It really makes fighting the fire that much harder. We need to be aware of personnel,” Thompson said.

Because of those high temperatures, crews were rotated periodically.

“Typically going to be inside the fire for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. For some guys, it’s less, for some guys it’s more,” Thompson said.

After their shifts, they were moved to “rehab," an air-conditioned Sun Metro bus, where firefighters cool off and recover.

“There in rehab, we’ll go check vitals. We go ahead and make sure that they cool off with ice water, Gatorade refreshments and all that,” Thompson said.

An ambulance was on site in case any firefighters started to struggle in the heat.

“Because of the extreme temperatures, we want to make sure that the personnel are taken care of and get to cool off,” Thompson said.

A man and his young son managed to escape the fire, according to Enrique Aguilar, spokesperson for the El Paso Fire Department said.

The Fire Department tweeted about the fire on Montoya Drive just after 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday temperatures are expected to reach 104 degrees. At the time the fire broke out, it was already 97 degrees outside.

Crews got the fire under control just before 2 p.m.


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