Watch Rach Crawl Into Smoke + Fire In Heavy Gear: "The worst part is going into total black"

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On International Firefighters' Day (May 4, 2018), actor Denis Leary hosted the 2nd Annual Denis Leary FDNY Firefighter Challenge, which benefits The Leary Firefighters Foundation.

And not only did Rach -- who's the first female member of the foundation's Board of Directors -- and our show's culinary team come *fully prepared* with lunch AND dinner for the firefighters and guests, but she also suited up and participated in all four training rotations throughout the day, including stepping into a live fire.

Yes, a Live. Fire.

Navigate blind through black smoke

"This drill takes between 5 and 10 minutes inside the building," Captain Bruce DiPietro says.

"We show them the thermal imaging camera," he continues, "which allows you to see through the smoke and see different temperatures and shapes."

It's safe to say that Rach and her team members (her hubby John Cusimano, chef Anne Burrell and former New York Jets star Nick Mangold) didn't know what they were in for until they actually stepped foot into the building.

But they handled it like total champs!

"It's like you're blind in the desert hot heat wearing a snowsuit," Anne says after successfully completing the rotation.

"The worst part is going into total black and having to literally feel your way," Rach echoes.

And Captain Bruce couldn't stress the importance of the protective gear they were wearing enough.

"The mask is the only way they can breathe in there," he explains. "You take one breath without a mask, you're probably going to die."

In fact, even when they emerged from the building, they were warned not to touch their gear right away.

It was that hot!

Our camera crew was right in the middle of all the action, so you can watch the eye-opening footage in the video above.

We truly can't thank all the brave firefighters out there enough! ❤️

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