Sapulpa Firefighters Get A Break After A Busy Fire Day

Sunday, January 30th 2011, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

SAPULPA, Oklahoma -- It's the calm before the storm for Green Country firefighters.

And while they gear up for the winter blast, they're also resting up after a dozen wildfires broke out Saturday.

01/29/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Area Crews Battle Multiple Grass Fires

One department reveals just how exhausting high fire danger days can be.

Sapulpa firefighters battled seven different grassfires that scorched hundreds of acres Saturday.

The conditions were perfect with Low humidity, brush on the ground and 15 mile per hour winds.

At the Sapulpa fire station, firefighters are repairing things they broke during yesterday's fire efforts.

"Today is relaxing. We needed it," said Relief Captain Chad Tanner of the Sapulpa Fire Department.

Tanner says his guys worked for 10 straight hours in smoke.

"I lost six pounds yesterday, so my pants are even loose today. It's a lot of exercise, its hard work," he said.

At one point, three different fires were burning on three different sides of town.

"I'm sore from the top of my head to bottom of my feet, my lungs are burning," he said. "Life of a fireman, it happens."

Sapulpa had 17 firefighters working Saturday. One crew saved a neighborhood from an out-of-control fire as flames were creeping closer to homes near 81st Street and 41st West Avenue.

"It melted the sidings off the buildings before we could catch it. The fires are moving across the fields through the grass so fast, it's faster than you can run," Tanner said.

Fires also raced across areas of Bristow and Kellyville. OHP closed down State Highway 51 because drivers couldn't see through the thick smoke.

But, Sapulpa couldn't respond to those mutual aid requests to help out because they were already using every resource they had.

They worked a 24-hour shift, spent the night at the station and are gearing up for the next round.

"We're going to relax, take a break, try to heal up. We've got today, tomorrow off, we'll be back Tuesday and be ready again," Tanner said.

One Sapulpa firefighter did suffer from smoke inhalation and dehydration yesterday. He got two bags of fluids and he's doing fine today.