Stifling heat challenges outdoor workers

The heat and humidity poses big problems for anyone having to work outdoors, such as firefighters and construction crews.

Fire fighters at a two-alarm blaze in Alexandria were fighting more then just smoke and flames. Each man is wearing about 115 pounds of gear, says Alexandria firefighter Robert Rodriguez. They find refuge inside this cooling bus and in front of mist machines.

Capt. Wayne Bryant said the Alexandria fire department rotates crews in 10 to 15 minute intervals to keep the firefighters save in the heat.

Any other week, waiting outside while firefighters work on trying to salvage your home would be the least of your worries, but during this scorcher, a displaced resident is worried about his mother's health in the heat.

Across the beltway, thousand of gallons of water have gushed out on to Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. Crews there were also struggling to stay cool as they repair an old 16-inch break.

No water has made it challenging for the Milton Velazquez up the street to keep their little one cool. “She wants to take a shower,” he said, but the home has no water.

Pepco urges moderation for air-conditioning

Pepco is urging residents not to turn up their air conditioners as an excessive heat watch bears down.

"On a hot day like today, it would take more energy,” said a Pepco representative. “Your air conditioner would have to do more work than on a cooler day."

But some people don’t have to worry about turning the air conditioner down. Their problems run much deeper. One woman, identified only as Miss J, had her air conditioner stolen after burglars broke into her home and took items, including the air conditioner, in the beginning of summer.

She’s had her home broken into three times this year and can’t afford to buy a new air conditioner.

Her biggest concern in the blistering heat is her 15-year-old daughter, who suffers badly from asthma.

“It's hard for her to breath in here,” she said. I'm just praying we get some help before the hundreds really kick in.”

Throughout the region, the sizzling surge of the heat is the same heat wave washing across the rest of the country. The horrible humidity was something Keara Cormir Hill thought she’d be leaving behind in Texas.

“Houston and D.C. might have some competition because I was not expecting the humidity,” Hill said.