Fireman expected to be okay after heat exhaustion

Firefighters battled the house fire on River Road for close to 12 hours.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 4:56 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2018 6:48 PM

A firefighter in Colbert County was rushed to the hospital because of extreme heat conditions while battling a fire Monday morning.

Temperatures in the Shoals reached the upper 90's with a heat index over 100 degrees, which put firemen in a dangerous situation as they battled a house fire on River Road.

The volunteer firefighter is with the White Oak Volunteer Fire Department. Officials said he became exhausted in the heat while fighting the River Road house fire. He was taken to Helen Keller Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

"Anybody can go down at any minute," said Capt. Michael Clemmons, with the Nitrate City Volunteer Fire Department.

Clemmons told WAAY 31 the volunteer firefighter that was taken to the hospital was released a short time later and expected to be okay.

"It's extremely dangerous with the heat today being as hot as it is, and the limited manpower," said Clemmons.

To help battle conditions, Colbert County Emergency Management set up a cooling tent to hydrate firefighters and check their vital signs to stop firemen from overheating.

"We're giving everybody a 15 minute break in between going in right now to keep from that happening and making sure were drinking plenty of liquids," said Clemmons.

It took firefighters hours to get the fire under control. They also rescued three animals from the home. Firefighters stayed on scene to put out any hot spots and to assist the State Fire Marshal with his investigation into the fire.

Officials cleared the scene a little before 4 p.m. firefighters said they did not have any other firemen become ill from the extreme heat.

They did call in the State Fire Marshal's office to investigate the house fire because of suspicious activity.

If any arrests are made in the case we will update you as soon as possible.

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