Three Moss Point firefighters overcome by heat while battling fire

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) – Moss Point Fire investigators still don't know what caused a firefighter's home to go up in flames Sunday. Three other firemen who tried to save the home are now recovering from heat exhaustion.

Firefighters said the extreme summer temperatures are making it hard to battle blazes.

Woodrow McCarthy has fought fires in Moss Point for three years, but he never expected to see his own home burn down.

"You don't know what to think or how to feel," McCarthy said. "When you think about it, you just can't help but to tear up."

Fire destroyed everything. Luckily, McCarthy said his family wasn't home and he was on duty in another community.

"It's gradually soaking in, but we are dealing with it," McCarthy said.

His fellow firefighters who were working the area answered the fire call.  Robert Steiner said he had to stop fighting the fire after about 20 minutes because he got overheated.

"I was getting dizzy, my vision was starting to blur," Steiner remembered.

Fire officials said it is not uncommon for firefighters to get overheated because it is so hot outside. That is why they stress to firefighters to pace themselves and stay hydrated.

"Always be safe. Safety is the number one factor," Fire Inspector Robert Lavinghouse said.

Lavinghouse said this is first time this year three firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion. He fears the record heat will cause that number to rise.

"Our bunker gear averages about 35 extra pounds and that body heat can lead to heat exhaustion. Heat is exhaustion dangerous because it affects all your inner organs."

Fire officials said they'll continue preaching safety to the fire crew.  Woodrow McCarthy agrees, but he still appreciates the crew's drive to save his home.

"Everybody that got here gave 100 percent and you can't ask for no more than that."

If you would like to help the McCarthy Family, call the Moss Point Fire Department at (228) 475-8848.

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