TUCSON, Ariz. — A mobile home fire on the Southside Sunday night became a life-threatening situation for the firefighters responding to the call.
Battalion Chief Barrett Baker said, everything was going smoothly, until he heard a word he hadn't heard in his 19 years on the job.
"About 13 minutes into the fire we heard that mayday call," Baker said.
A firefighter was inside the fire needing help. Baker said, any firefighter can call mayday if they feel it's a matter of life or death.
"There was so much in the way," Baker said. "Visibility was so low. When he went to go back in, that fire had basically rolled across the ceiling, and we don't want fire in between us and the exit."
When firefighters heard the call, Baker said it was the longest 45 seconds of his career.
"It felt like 45 years... Within 45 seconds the Adrenal surge that everybody hears on that fire ground," Baker said. "When they think one of there coworkers is in immediate danger. You have a hard time putting into words what that does to you emotionally."
Since it doesn't happen often, he said firefighters are encouraged and trained to make that call, even if they feel they can handle it.
Everyone made it out alive, but everyone did a good job, Baker said.
"At the end of the day, we try to save people, but we want to go safely as well," Baker said.
Baker said, all three people living inside the home got out safely.