Colder temperatures makes fighting fires more of a challenge for firefighters

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BUSY, Ky. (WYMT) - Avawam volunteer firefighters faced some challenges Friday morning as they fought a house fire on Rockhouse Fork Road in the cold.

"The water is literally freezing as it hits the ground. That's how cold it is," Sonya Freeman, a neighbor said.

Leonard Toler, the fire chief, says they have learned many valuable lessons about extinguishing fires during the winter season.

The cause of the fire is still unknown but officials say it possible it started in a back bedroom. Luckily, the cold temperatures did not keep them from using other sources of running water, like the neighboring creekbed.

"We've got it dammed up and we're pulling water out of the creek right now," Toler said.

In winter flames are a threat, but frozen water can cause even more headaches.

"If it's below freezing sometimes we have to bust holes in the creek or sometimes if you shut the nozzle off and don't leave it running the line will freeze," Toler said.

And though fighting each fire is their goal, he says they must always make keeping their men safe a priority.

"If they're out standing around the trucks, doing other things, being in the water, you want to get them close somewhere and dry them off and make sure they don't get frostbite or get hypothermia."

Toler says it took a little more than a couple hours to get the fire under control.

"They are troopers because it's really cold. And if I was a firefighter I would do what I could but it was really, really cold," Freeman said.

Everyone in the house got out safely. Officials say one child was sent to Hazard ARH Medical Center with minor injuries.

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