Red Hotz save home

Firefighters stand for photo after saving home
Red Hotz 1 shortly after saving the home

A team of inmate firefighters from Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino has been credited with saving a Washington family's home.

On July 18, the team, Red Hotz 1, was dispatched to the Carlton Complex fires in north-central Washington. Less than a week later, the Red Hotz found themselves in one of their fiercest battles ever.

On July 23, the Red Hotz were ordered to save a structure six miles south of Twisp. It was a close call. As the flames inched closer to the home, the Red Hotz dug a fire break above and below it.

“The crew completed the line just in time to save the property,” said ICIO Sgt. Mike Curtis.  “The homeowners did not have any idea that the crew that saved their home was from a correctional institution in Orofino, Idaho.”

ICIO Lt. Greg Heun says one of the home’s owners was “ecstatic” when he called the institution to express his gratitude.

“This is the first time Washington has ever had one of our crews work their fires,” Heun said.  “This is great news and good PR for our program.”

The Red Hotz have been presented with certificates to recognize their hard work and dedication while battling the Carlton Complex fires. The two correctional officers who led the team, Kelly Burke and Adam Few, have been awarded challenge coins.

You can see more photos of Red Hotz 1 at the Carlton Complex here.

Story published: 08/06/2014
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