Excessive heat not linked to multiple Tucson fires - Tucson News Now

Excessive heat not linked to multiple Tucson fires

Capt. Barrett Baker said triple-digit weather was not a factor that linked five recent fires. Capt. Barrett Baker said triple-digit weather was not a factor that linked five recent fires.
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Nearly a week of excessive heat did not necessarily play a role in starting five separate fires in Tucson that occurred within 24 hours of each other, according to the Tucson Fire Department.

Tucson Fire PIO Barrett Baker said the fires had a different reason behind them, so triple-digit weather was not a factor that linked all five.

The first fire call was a brush fire near the Ocotillo Early Learning Center Wednesday afternoon.

Tucson Fire then responded to an apartment fire that destroyed at least two units at a complex on West Roger Road shortly before 6 p.m. Investigators determined the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.

About an hour later, a fire broke out at house on Tyndall Avenue. This fire was caused by a cigarette that was not properly extinguished.

Shortly before 11 p.m., another fire displaced a family of three from their home on 22nd Street.

The final fire happened at a house on East 23rd Street just before 4 a.m. Thursday. Two people were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

"On those particular days we might have the same crew that responded to two of those different fires and on a physical level, it's very taxing when you've been subjected to those high heat types of calls when it comes to the fires," Baker said.

That is why medics accompany Tucson firefighters to a fire scene to monitor their vital signs and check for heat exhaustion. Crews must be checked out and cleared before leaving a scene.

Baker said this is important because depending on the location of a fire, the same unit could go to multiple calls.

"We're very proactive. We know what the schedule is and you try to re-hydrate throughout the course of the day within those 24 hour shifts. Once you get that 24 hour shift, you're off the next day," Baker said.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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