Freezing temperatures hinder Chesapeake firefighters

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Chesapeake firefighters had trouble extinguishing a house fire due to freezing temperatures Tuesday night.

The Chesapeake Fire Department confirms a call came in for a house fire on Johnston Road around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday. Fire crews arrived about ten minutes later to find heavy smoke.

A man and woman were inside the home at the time of the fire. The man was taken to Chesapeake General Hospital for possible smoke inhalation injuries, but the woman was not injured.

A dog died in the fire, despite firefighters’ efforts to revive it.

As of midnight, firefighters were still working to extinguish the fire. The fire department said firefighters are having trouble fighting the flames for several reasons:

  • There is no fire hydrant nearby, so crews drove to the nearest one, attached a hose and drove back to the house.
  • Freezing temperatures are causing water to turn to ice — water out of the hose, on the ground, and on gear.
  • Ice on the ground and the cold is making the situation physically challenging for firefighters.

“It does make it worse, I mean, you’re having to fight the cold,” said Captain Scott Saunders. “You go in there, you do your job, your gear gets wet, you put water on the fire, you get water on yourself. It just makes it cold and miserable. We’ve got a rehab truck here. We’re cycling crews in and out – get them in the truck, get them warmed up, get some warm fluids in them, so they can cycle back through and go back to fighting the fire.” was also told the homeowners have a lot of flammable items inside the home, so when firefighters extinguish part of the fire, new flames pop up.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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