by Yasmeen Hassan

CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — A house went up in smoke in Carmichael Wednesday, sending dozens of firefighters into scorching conditions.

The triple-digit heat made it especially dangerous for crews.

“A normal house fire in the middle of winter we’re going to be able to work a lot harder for a lot longer. These fire when it’s over 100, we have to pace ourselves,” Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal said.

None of that stopped firefighters from going back inside the house, not just once, but twice to save two dogs. While crews prepare and train for fires, it doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s really tough to go to the gym wearing shorts and a T-shirt and do your normal workout and then come and put this stuff on, it’s not the same. The cardio, the endurance, plus the strength, it really takes a toll so we have to be smart about how we do it,” Vestal said.

Part of that plan includes assigned teams to re-fill oxygen tanks and make sure everyone stays safe.

“They also bring other nutrition and hydration for us on scene. Although they do that year-round, they’re much busier this time of year and the demand is much higher,” Vestal said.

Mark Siebert makes sure crews are hydrated on the scene.

“If they don’t have a cold bottle of water in their hand, I go out there and give them one because they might not know it’s available,” Siebert said.


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