Two firefighters treated for heat exhaustion after battling Lemay fire

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LEMAY, Mo. – Two firefighters were taken to a local hospital Monday afternoon to be treated for heat exhaustion after battling a two-alarm house fire in south St. Louis County.

The fire happened at the corner of Placid Avenue and Gentry Avenue in Lemay.

The family inside made it out with no reported injuries. Firefighters remained inside for a while looking for two small dogs, who did not make it out alive.

“When crews arrived on the scene, they saw heavy fire coming from the second floor of this house,” said Affton Assistant Fire Chief Ben Waser.

The heat outside became the biggest danger. One firefighter collapsed near a news crew. His fellow firefighters cooled him down and put him on a stretcher.

“As firefighters, we don’t want to come out,” Waser said. “And if I didn’t make them come out or we didn’t make them come out, you wouldn’t see anybody out here.”

“Inside our gear is a thermal layer, which normally is a good thing for us because it keeps the heat out. However, when it’s 100 or 90 some degrees out, that heat is trapped inside us.”

Some looked for other ways to cool down from wearing 60 pounds of gear, like wearing wet towels on their heads.

People passing by also pitched in, resident like Kim Horne.

“We just drove past and saw there was a fire and went to 7-Eleven and asked if we could donate some water and they did,” she said.

The outside heat alone brought this fire response to two alarms. Fire departments from Affton, Mehlville, St. Louis and Lemay responded, along with the St. Louis County Police Department.

A family member did not want to appear on camera, but said he was happy with the fire departments’ response but devastated by the loss of their two dogs. A third dog made it out alive.

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