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Fargo Fire Crews Stretched Thin with Simultaneous Fires - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Fire Crews Stretched Thin with Simultaneous Fires

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Fargo Fire crews are recovering Friday night after a hard day at work battling two house fires in the city.

The first of the afternoon's fire calls came at about 1:30pm in the 1800 block of 56th Avenue South in Fargo. That's where neighbors reported hearing explosions, followed by flames.

The next, just half an hour later in a trailer park on Domingo Road.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman looked into how the teams put all hands on deck to get these fires under control.

"It's been busy," Larry Schuh, Assistant Fire Chief for Fargo Fire, said of responses this summer. "Total number of calls has been up considerably."

Just as summer temps seem to be heating up, so does the workload for these crews.

"Just today, it was within short order of each other and then actively, simultaneously, fires going on," Schuh said.

Fargo Firefighters were working at full capacity Friday when all available crews were tied up in two major house fires.

"It's a little bit of concern as far as the available man power that can respond if we had a third one; but we have procedures that will cover it."

Commanders say they always keep reserve hands on deck, as part of a back up plan. But it's not as easy as shifting man power. Behind the suits, these fighters are dealing with extremes.

"You notice the gear that they have on, its similar to putting a snow mobile suit on during the summer, which isn't real comfortable," Schuh said. "They get really heated up. So, as soon as we can, we try to get them out, get them out of the gear, get them to rehab, get them cooled down and we rotate."

It's all a part of the strategy to keep this operation running.

In extreme circumstances, the Assistant Chief says they have the option of calling in off-duty fire fighters. If that's not enough, they participate in mutual aid with the city of West Fargo and Moorhead.

If you'd like to help the family displaced from the trailer fire on Domingo Road, call Carmen (the homeowner) at (218)329-7646. You can also donate to the Red Cross, which responded to both fires.

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