Firefighters battle heat while battling blaze

Some of Memphis' finest, trying to keep cool in 100+ degree weather.
Some of Memphis' finest, trying to keep cool in 100+ degree weather.

(WMC-TV) - The heat was on in North Memphis Friday as fire ripped through a vacant building near Hollywood and Chelsea. It was a blistering blaze compounded by the triple digit temperatures.

"This heat is a challenging venture for our firefighters," said MFD spokesman, Lt. Wayne Cooke.

The average uniform worn while fighting a fire can weigh up to a hundred pounds when fully outfitted. It creates an oven-like environment on a hot day.

"We make sure they have plenty of fluids, evaluate their medical conditions, make sure their vital signs are normal," said Cooke.

There were two rehab trucks on the scene Friday loaded with medical equipment and plenty of water and sports drinks. Officials say these are appropriate fluids that are necessary to remain properly hydrated.

"No alcohol or sodas," said Cooke.

Memphis reached a record breaking daily temperature Friday of 103 degrees. Nashville set an all time record of 109. Emergency responders urge extreme caution in the extreme heat.

"Make sure you stay out of the heat if at all possible," said Lt. Cooke. "And just decrease your outdoor activity," he added.

That's something firefighters are unable to do when duty calls.

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