Lexington Fire crews try and beat the heat while battling house fire

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington Firefighters swarmed several homes on White Wood Flat after a frantic 9-1-1 call came in about a house on fire.

"We seen the house was on fire," explained Jonai Combs, who lives a few streets away with her mother. She says a friend who was in the car with her jumped into action.

"He hooked the house up and tried top put out the fire himself," she said.

Neighbors gathered to watch while people living on the street came home.

"I didn't know what I was coming to," commented a relieved Felicia Walker, who lives next door to the house that burned badly.

Walker's home did have some siding that melted and some general heat and smoke damage, but she says it should be fine to live in while it's fixed. She says she's also glad her neighbors, including children, are all ok.

"I'm thankful," she said.

In addition to trying to fight the fire, fire crews were also focused on their own safety in the heat.

"We minimize uniforms down to t-shirts for all our crews," explained Lexington Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Nantz, who was on the scene. "That way, their core temperatures stay cooler."

Nantz says stripping down the number of layers firefighters wear is protocol anytime the temperatures hit 86-degrees and it is this humid.

Nantz says the number one killer of firefighters is cardiac arrest, which can be caused by both heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

He says whenever it is this hot, extra crews are called in and recovery centers are set up with fans and drinks.

"We tell them to hydrate early in their shift," Nantz said. "We don't want them to wear down and face heat exhaustion.

Firefighters say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.