Denver-area firefighters beating the heat in more than one way

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Firefighters in Colorado have their hands full. As crews are busy fighting multiple massive wildfires across the state, first responders around the Denver area have their engines running, responding to several structure fires in the area.

On Friday, firefighters in Littleton responded to five house fires within a couple hours. Saturday, crews in Castle Rock responded to a fire that burned the inside of a garage, causing massive damage to a family’s property.

“I opened the garage door and you couldn't see anything. It was filled with black smoke,” said Andryia Valore, who was coming home from the neighborhood pool. She says the flames trickled out, licking the roof of the garage and engulfing a truck parked in the driveway.

The Castle Rock Fire Battalion Chief says neither the homeowners nor the first responders were injured and all of the smoke detectors were working in the home. They brought in extra crews to keep a strong rotation for firefighters working in high temperatures.

“It's unusually dry right now,” said Denver Fire Department Shift Commander CJ Haberkorn, returning from a structure fire call at a backyard barbecue Saturday. “People are barbecuing, doing s’mores, fire cracker season is coming up,” Haberkorn said.

Responding to these calls with the record high temperatures in the Denver area this past week requires more caution. Haberkorn says anything over 80 degrees gives him concern since their suits are so insulated. He says Denver Fire Department has a “Rehab Truck” on standby this time of year that is available around the clock. It carries extra water and oxygen tanks.

Of course, firefighters aren’t the only ones who need to be cautious this time of year. They are asking people to be sensible because of the heat and the unusual dryness.

“Keep the grounds around your house nice and clean,” Haberkorn said. “Keep stuff away from your dryers.”

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