Fire Fighters Battle Intense Heat During Record 105°
Crews forced to rehab in shifts while putting out a deck fire
The triple digit temperatures were so dangerous for the crews, nearly every fire crew in Council Bluffs was called to help put out the fire. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Council Bluffs, IA -- Sunday the Omaha metro area hit an all time high of 105°. The record heat is brutal for firefighters who are called into action. Fire destroyed a home Sunday evening in Council Bluffs. The flames were so big, a cloud of smoke could be seen from downtown Omaha and on the hottest day of the year the blaze caused a serious threat to firefighters.
Kriss Johnson saw the incredible plum of smoke from Council Bluffs while driving on I-80. He stopped to film a house as flames and smoke billowed in intense afternoon heat. Despite the triple digit temperatures, dozens of people stood watching as fire fighters fought the heat coming from the Lieber home. "Everything we have was in there," said homeowner Kristen Lieber.
Capt. Jim Maaske with Council Bluffs Fire Department said crews searched the home before making the call to pull out. "We tried to make headway but obviously it was too hot inside with the smoke to make any headway so we pulled the crews out we had no risk of life safety inside except for our own crew," explained Capt. Maaske.
Fire fighters were forced to not only battle the inferno as it melted the home, but they had to combat the blistering heat. Fire Marshall Larry Wohlers said, "Anytime the temperature's 105° we can't wear this gear for very long."
Instead, crews took a defensive posture. Wohlers added it's, "to our advantage we get to stay outside and stay away from that excessive heat inside."
The triple digit temperatures were so dangerous for the crews, nearly every fire crew in Council Bluffs was called to help put out the fire. "We have a rehab station in the front of the structure with a cooling mist fan we're constantly rotating crews out just to keep them hydrated," the Fire Marshall continued saying.
The homeowner, Kristen Lieber said she left a grill on for just a few minutes when she left the home. Within ten minutes her house was gone. With tears filling her eyes and a heavy sigh she said, "It's just hard watching your whole life burn up right in front of your face."
Reported By: Liz Dorland, firstname.lastname@example.org