A Des Moines firefighter was sent to the hospital this morning with heat-related injuries sustained while battling a large tire fire at a capitol city tire recycling facility. Des Moines Fire Lieutenant Linda Frangenberg says the putrid black smoke and the intense heat are taking a toll.The unidentified firefighter is listed in stable condition. The thick smoke from the tire fire can be seen for many miles. Frangenberg says special coats, pants, helmets, boots and gloves can allow firefighters to withstand temperatures up to one thousand degrees — but not for long. She says this sort of very hot fire is especially hard on her crews as their body temperature raises very quickly.An airport fire crew has been spreading foam used for airplane emergency landings on the burning tires to try and smother the flames. At this time of year, firefighters are often fighting the weather in addition to the fire. Heat-related injuries to firefighters were also reported in Clinton and Ames with two major fires in those towns this week.
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