Firefighters Battle Fire and Cold
YAKIMA, Wa - The freezing temperatures are also making it more difficult for firefighters to fight fires. That was the case at a garage fire in Cowiche this morning.
"We had problems with two of these here," says Cowiche Fire Chief Sam Glanzer, pointing to valves on a fire truck.
They use the valves to access water from fire trucks and a couple actually froze at this morning's fire.
"It was 9 degrees above zero," says Glanzer when they responded to the fire.
The Naches Fire Department sent to a reserve fire truck to the garage fire in Cowiche. Glanzer says Naches and Cowiche are only seven miles apart, but when the truck arrived a valve was frozen.
"When a valve freezes shut, we don't want to twist it off," he says, "It was just one truck. Within three minutes, the water was flowing."
But that wasn't the only problem they faced, water from the hoses froze on the ground.
"The ice is okay to walk on, but you try to pull hoses on this ice."
Glanzer says some firefighters fell down while fighting the fire. Hoses froze to the ground.
"It's hard on firefighters. You get wet. Your gloves get wet. You can hardly move your hands. It's definitely tough on them."
Glanzer says the next time he's fighting a brush in the summer and it's 100-degrees, he'll think about this cold. He says firefighters definitely prefer to fight fires in warmer weather.