BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – With temperatures dropping in the 30’s for the first time in months, many in Central Alabama are expected to turn on the heat.
As those forms of heat turn on overnight, improper use of space heaters can keep firefighters busy as they respond to numerous house or apartment fires. This past week has been attest to that.
Birmingham Firefighter Demetrius Derico says while they are always ready to answer the call, what they see daily can have an emotional toll on them.
“It’s just a surreal experience,” Derico said.
Because answering the call every single day is never an easy task.
“We have to be professional, but at the same time, we’re still humans. So, we have that heartfelt moment where you hope everything is going to be ok,” Derico said.
Some fires they respond to can end in tragedy, which can be difficult to process.
“It was very much a somber moment once we realized someone had perished,” Rocky Ridge Fire Marshall Johnny Crumpton said. “I can’t tell you the number of counseling sessions that take place around a kitchen table in a fire station.”
Crumpton says we’re entering the months where we see more and more fires caused by improper use of heat. He says checking the home’s source of heat before the cold weather hits is always a smart idea.
“Getting it checked before it gets cold is a very very important thing you need to take care of,” Crumpton said.
For more on how to fire proof the home, click here.