The quick actions of Albert Saenz’s grandchildren helped save his garage and home on Monday afternoon after a spark from a power line started a grass fire.
It was around 3:45 pm on Monday afternoon in the 107 degree heat when they heard the pop and went outside the home to see what it was, discovering the grass on fire. Their quick actions by calling the fire department and spraying the fire with water hoses until the fire truck arrived helped save their grandpa’s garage and home on 5th Street in Natalia.
Natalia Volunteer Firemen Asst. Chief Gilbert Rodriguez and Emilio Martinez responded and put out the fire.
The National Weather Service has been issuing Extreme Heat Alerts and Warning for several days across South and parts of Central Texas asking people to be careful and use caution.
In fact at 3:24 pm on Monday July 23, 2018 right before this fire, they issued this Alert from 3:24 pm to expire at 7:00 pm that same day:
ALERT: Afternoon and early evening temperatures ranging from 103 to 108 degrees. * IMPACTS…Very hot temperatures will increase the risk of heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
INSTRUCTIONS: Take extra precautions…if you work or spend time outside. When possible…reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work…the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency…call 9 1 1. An Excessive Heat Warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids…stay in an air-conditioned room…stay out of the sun… and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
TARGET AREA: Medina; Caldwell; Comal; Bandera; Gillespie; Guadalupe; Travis; Uvalde; Kerr; Atascosa; Frio; Real; Bastrop; Kendall; Hays; Williamson; Lee; Blanco; Edwards; Bexar; Llano; Burnet.
Similar alerts like this one from the National Weather Service has been going out every day since the prior Friday.
It is unknown if the unusually high temperatures had anything to do with the spark directly, but indirectly the fact that when temperatures rise so does the usage of electricity to keep people and animals cool and the electric lines are having a tougher time doing their job.
By Kathleen Calame