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Helmet cam shows inside look at Metro Fire responding to Citrus Heights blaze

Sentinel staff report–
New helmet camera footage compiled by Metro Fire shows a first-person look inside firefighting efforts in Citrus Heights, as captured while crews responded to the scene of an apartment engulfed by flames on Auburn Boulevard last month.

After water hoses are used to initiate fire attack from the outside, crews can be seen kicking in a door on the second-story apartment to gain entrance to the smoke-filled, still-burning dwelling. Footage then shows crews on the roof with chainsaws cutting holes.

Text on screen provides visual commentary in various parts of the 3-and-a-half minute edited video, explaining that firefighters often use chainsaws to cut holes in the roofs of burning structures “to allow super-heated smoke and gases to escape, [which] allows for better visibility for the crews working inside the apartment.” Inside, crews can be seen pulling insulation from above the ceiling, apparently to extinguish any hot spots in the attic area.

The blaze occurred around 5 p.m. on March 22, located at the Cypress Greens apartment complex near the intersection of Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane. Metro Fire said the apartment’s occupants were not inside at the time of the fire and no firefighters were injured during the operation.

Answering a common question about why Metro Fire often responds with “so many” fire vehicles, the agency said in a statement accompanying the video on Facebook that its standard response to an apartment fire is to deploy a total of 11 vehicles: five engines, three trucks, one ambulance, and two battalion chiefs.

“Search/rescue, fire attack, ventilation, salvage, and overhaul are just some of the many tasks that must be completed rapidly,” the agency said. “It is essential that our crews work together to accomplish our first, and most important priority: life safety. ”

The footage was recorded by crews of Engine 24, based in North Highlands, and Rescue 21, based in Citrus Heights.

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