Fires burn hotter nowadays than they did 50 years ago, according to Mike Healy.
It’s modern construction materials, held together with flammable glue, and the prevalence of plastics in our homes, he said.
“Just the way the fires burn today is an immense difference. The fires are much hotter,” Healy said. “When I joined the fire department in 1970 you could go into a fire without an air tank. Now, if you went into a fire five feet without your mask on, you’d be unconscious.” Healy is, in many ways, a firefighter’s firefighter. He started out in Blauvelt 48 years ago, was chief in Central Nyack three times, is a member of the Rockland County Critical Incident Stress team, and teaches fire education at the Rockland County Fire Training Center.