Fresno Fire Department battles fires and Summer-like heat

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Fresno fire crews faced a challenging 48-hour shift to start the week. Their shift began Sunday morning and ended Tuesday at 7am. (KFSN)

Fresno fire crews faced a challenging 48-hour shift to start the week. Their shift began Sunday morning and ended Tuesday at 7am.

Fighting fires in this heat is exhausting for them and they say some of these fires were intentionally set.

Whether it's a home, brush or a commercial building fire they're there, working through the extreme heat from the fire and the environment.

"You know, the thing about this gear is it protects us from heat from the fire, but it doesn't expel the heat off our body too well," said Fresno firefighter Joseph Coppo.

Coppo had just walked out of a house fire in Central Fresno Monday afternoon when he spoke with Action News. He said aside from wearing nearly 100 pounds of gear staying hydrated is his biggest struggle.

"Right now, with 4 fires today, we're at our limit," he said.

Coppo and most of the fire fighters being rotated out of the fire for a break from the extreme heat have responded to several other fires on this single 48-hour shift.

A massive three-alarm fire taxed the city's resources Sunday. It began at the same time as another commercial fire across town. "We're really taking a look at these firefighters to make sure that they've recovered from yesterday and continue to fight this fire safely," said Fresno Fire spokesman Pete Martinez.

Just like everyone else the fire crews could quickly overexert themselves if they're not careful.

"We want to make sure that we have ems available that we have enough water and shade available so our firefighters can have a rest period and can rehydrate," Martinez said.

It doesn't help when someone is intentionally setting fires. Investigators arrested 42-year-old Delores Imperatrice for intentionally setting at least five fires near Gateway Boulevard and Clinton Monday morning. Witnesses held her down until fire crews arrived.

All of these fires happened in a single shift. The same fire fighters responded, exhausted but preparing for the next fire as temperatures hover at 100 degrees all week.

"We are at our peak trying to fight fire, exerting all of our energy," Coppo said. "It takes just about everything we got."

Investigators are working to determine the causes of these fires the past two days with the exception of the one's they say were set by their arson suspect.



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