SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –Fighting fires can be hot, exhausting, and also dangerous.

Video we shot this morning on the 600 block of South Prairie Street shows it all. With 45 pounds of gear, lugging equipment, and heavy hoses, the crews fighting this fire were exhausted. They came back to Central Fire Station in downtown Sioux Falls, but it wouldn’t be long before they were called out again. One crew would be called out to fight three separate fires on this hot day.

They arrived at this house fire on Hawthorn Avenue. The back deck area was on fire, neighbors tell us they got it knocked down quickly. For Firefighter Jack Claussen, this was his 6th callout of the day and the third fire. Wearing the heavy gear is essential, it protects them from the fire but…

“It kind of traps the heat, so it insulates us from the heat of the fire, but it traps our body heat, so a big thing that we tell each other is when we step out, take our coats off just to get some air moving,” said Claussen.

Captain Kyle Murphy keeps one eye on the fire and the other on his firefighters.

“If they start looking a little exhausted, slowing down, it is time for a break; peel off some layers and get some fluids in them.

Tom- Do you pull them out?

“Yes, we will. When it comes time for that, we will, and when we are inside working, our air packs will last 20 minutes, half an hour, so at that point we can, when we are cycling out for a new bottle we will just take a little extra break at that point,” said Murphy.

Murphy says on really hot days they will cycle in crews from other stations.
Claussen says that’s because he and his fellow firefighter might not have as much endurance on a hot day like today.

“If we feel like we need to take a break, we just gotta speak up and maybe step out when we change our bottles and take a little bit extra time. But it’s what we signed up for. We knew taking this job that we are open 365, 24-hours a day, so it’s all part of the job,” said Claussen.

The first fire at a house on South Prairie is still being investigated. The second fire was at an apartment building on West 6th Street. One person was rescued and sent to the hospital
And the third fire at a house on Hawthorne Avenue started on the back deck area, but the source of the fire has not been determined.