Cold weather impacts firefighters in Ohio County


We’re learning more about Wednesday’s house fire in ohio county and what it took to put the flames out.

Several fire departments spent eleven hours at a home on County Road 1543 battling the fire in the middle of severe cold weather.

The scene of yesterday’s fire was still smoldering. Back at Hartford Fire Department, they were still thawing some of the equipment used to put the fire out.

“The conditions were horrible. Something we have never seen.” says Hartford Assistant Fire Chief Tim Griffin. first responders dealt with masks, nozzles and other equipment freezing and they rotated in and out of the single degree temperatures with below zero wind chills. 

“They were having trouble with their self-contained breathing apparatus freezing up, their masks freezing up, the gear gets soaking wet, then it freezes, and they can’t hardly move,” Griffin recalled. He adds a hydrant also froze. Water had to be brought in by tanker from Beaver Dam. 

“I looked out the back door and I could see a lot of commotion down there. Saw a lot of smoke first,” recalled Pamela Bratcher, who lives down the road from the house that burned down. “There was probably six or seven different fire trucks from all local communities.” Adding to the complications, ice on the ground. Assistant Chief Griffin says the firefighters had to be careful walking around so that they did not slip and fall.

“We’re not used to seeing this type of temperature here,” he said. “In my 14 year career, this is the second time. We know it gets cold and below freezing, but nothing to where water freezes automatically.”

As for the fire, the woman living there got out of the home. Griffin  says it started in the kitchen but a cause has not been found.

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(This story was originally published on January 31, 2019)

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