HEAT ALERT

Excessive heat watch issued for parts of New Jersey with sizzling temperatures

‘It’s exhausting.’ Firefighters deal with heat wave conditions while battling fires

Firefighters battling a large fire in East Orange had to contend with scorching temperatures outside of the building. Temperatures in the city reached the upper-90s Friday.

News 12 Staff

Jul 22, 2022, 9:27 PM

Updated 698 days ago

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Firefighters battling a large fire in East Orange had to contend with scorching temperatures outside of the building. Temperatures in the city reached the upper-90s Friday.
“It’s so hot sometimes, it feels like when you’re outside you’re inside the inferno fighting the fire,’ says firefighter Damon Johns.
The fire started around 12:30 a.m. Friday at an apartment complex at Prospect Street and Park Avenue. An older woman was killed, and around 18 families were displaced.
The fire took crews more than eight hours to put out.
“It’s exhausting. Fatigue, dehydration, you’re battling everything,” says firefighter Talib Raoof. “You’re not able to put back into your body everything you sweat out.”
Firefighters rested on the curb, as a volunteer brought in a pallet of Gatorade. But as crews continued to deal with hot spots in the fire, there was no relief.
“I’m going right to sleep. I’m going to be exhausted. Your whole body is cramping up,” says acting Fire Capt. Michael Williamson.
Some crew members said that even after they left the scene of this fire, they still had several hours left on their shifts.
“We still have until 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. We could still catch another fire in a couple of hours,” says Johns. “So, we just have to work through it, battle through it.”
The cause of the fire at the apartment complex is under investigation. Four firefighters were hurt but are expected to be OK.


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