Firefighting in the summer heat adds layer of difficulty

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The summer months can be brutal.  Add on top of that a job as a firefighter and the summer can be miserable.

An apartment fire on Orange Grove near Oracle, brought out Northwest Fire's best.

"They did an immediate attack and were able to confine the damage to the ground floor apartment and the balcony of the second floor apartment," said Katy Heiden from the Northwest Fire District.

Firefighters have a rough job as it is.  Add 100 plus degree temperatures on top of it and things can get quite uncomfortable.

"Once you start spraying that water though you get a little steam conversion, and then it's like a hot sauna," said Heiden.

The scene support truck sits only steps away from the fire.  Shade and water are essentials for northwest's men and women during the summer.

"It's super important if you didn't have that you'd have guys that are in physically great shape passing out without any breaks," said Joe Mooney, Northwest Fire District.

Fire fighters rotate between cooling off and continuing to monitor the apartment fire.  When carrying around 50 plus pounds on their back and donning heavy fire suits.

"It just makes the fire so much harder for fire fighters to fight," said Mooney.

Before arriving on scene, firefighters prepare both physically and mentally.  The heat, the heat they're about to face both inside and out.

"It's fun, it's like that weekend warrior, extreme kind of fun," said Mooney.

The ground floor apartment had major damage to the front part of it, but nothing much inside.

The upstairs unit had minor smoke damage and nothing was burned inside.