Bee Swarm Stymies Firefight

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Jun 24, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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Bee Swarm Victim out of Hospital

Bees: useful for making honey, angry when you move their house.

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Berkeley firefighters faced a new enemy as they fought a vegetation fire near Aquatic Park Wednesday night.

One of the firefighters apparently stepped on a bee hive of yellow jackets as he arrived on scene and that started a swarm.

Matters got worse when the crews started dousing the fire with water.

The addtion of H2O turned the swarm into a stinging swarm.  At one point the fight was as much against the bees as the fire.

Firefighters switched to foam and aimed it at the bees.  That seemed to do the trick.  Both the fire and the bees were controled in about 15 minutes.

Several of the emergency responders were stung. Four of them suffered enough to need medical attention.

The fire burned about 1,500 square feet at the park. The stung firefighters are nursing their welts, but will all recover.

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