Richmond fire crews battle fire — and ice

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jan 25, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Firefighters encountered huge flames and wintry conditions as they battled a blaze at a home on Richmond's Southside Friday evening.

Crews spent the evening trying to douse the fire -- and rescue three pets inside a house off Forest Hill Avenue.

A neighbor told CBS 6 News' Lorenzo Hall that the home also caught fire over the summer.

Firefighters said battling a blaze during winter weather is like fighting a never-ending war.

"It took us about 40 minutes to bring this fire under control," Richmond Fire Department's Lt. Shawn Jones said.

Jones said that is more time than usual since firefighters face click roads when they leave the station. In fact, Jones said that on a normal day that the response would have been three or four minutes.

Jones said that response time was doubled on Friday. Crews also wondered if the water from hydrants would flow freely.

"The temperature is less than 32 degrees, so the potential for freezing is definitely there," Jones said.

Earlier this week, rescuers in Chicago ran into that problem as more than 200 firefighters were called to an abandoned warehouse because bone-chilling temps froze the water on contact -- even on firefighters' uniforms.

That was not the problem for this crew, who managed to successfully save the pets inside and extinguishing the fire.

Snowplows quickly moved in to keep the runoff water from freezing on the road.

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