Firefighters battle freezing temperatures in Massachusetts

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Firefighters battle freezing temperatures in Massachusetts
Firefighters in North Attleboro fighting a 4-alarm fire and freezing temperatures. Image from video, below. Credit: CBS 4 Boston.

Firefighters were forced to battle freezing temperatures in Massachusetts as they tried to fight a fire at the same time. In North Attleboro, an old building was their focus, but the weather made their jobs more difficult. The Odd Fellows building had to be destroyed after the fire because of the dangerous conditions.

Firefighters arrived at the Odd Fellows building at night after receiving a call that it was on fire, according to the Attleboro Sun Chronicle. Fighting a fire is always challenging, but the freezing temperatures made the process much worse. Their efforts were delayed or stopped by several factors as they tried to put out the flames.

As firefighters attempted to hose the building down, they discovered the two fire hydrants were frozen. The snow and wind made all of their efforts more difficult as the low temperatures stayed unchanged. Firefighters tried to fight the flames from the inside of the building, but as the fire spread it became too dangerous for them to stay inside. They were forced to go back outside and encountered more issues.

As soon as water hit the building, it would freeze and turn into ice. The hoses also began to freeze, and their trucks were covered in a large sheet of ice. Even the uniforms of firefighters were caked in a thick layer of ice and snow that was difficult to chip away. The building ended up looking like an icicle because all of the water froze that was used on it.

Officials determined that the building was too dangerous to remain standing, so they tore it down. There were concerns it would collapse on its own and create more damage. The streets were temporarily closed near the building to allow workers to safely take down the building.

Firefighters are still trying to figure out what caused the fire in the building, but they suspect a wood stove may have been responsible. The blaze was difficult enough to put out, yet the freezing temperatures made it significantly worse. There was one firefighter who suffered minor injuries during the attempts to put out the fire.

Another firefighter had rings of ice and snow around his feet, and this was documented by a news crew. Despite the difficult conditions, they continued to fight and stayed until the fire was put out. Severe winter weather is not enough for them to abandon their important jobs.

 

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