“My number one concern is personnel safety from cold exposure, which presents risks of hypothermia and frostbite. We also tend to have nozzles and hose lines freeze when you’re not constantly spraying water.”
— Craig Fire Rescue Chief Bill Johnston about fighting fires in extreme cold temperatures.
Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters battled extreme overnight temperatures this week, but were able to extinguish a home fire in Moffat County with no injuries.
The report of a house fire came in shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday on Moffat County Road 15 about 20 miles west of Craig, said Fire Chief Bill Johnston.
When firefighters arrived on scene the temperature was negative four-degrees.
Though Johnston was relieved there were no fires the previous two nights, when temperatures plummeted to minus 35-degress across much of the county, he said the cold weather presented certain challenges for both his firefighters and their equipment.
“My number one concern is personnel safety from cold exposure, which presents risks of hypothermia and frostbite,” Johnston said. “We also tend to have nozzles and hose lines freeze when you’re not constantly spraying water.”
Preliminary investigations links the cause of the fire to a faulty gas furnace that caught fire, Johnston said. The fire spread first to the ceiling of the home and then to the roof.
Though efforts were slowed by the cold, firefighters were able to save about half of the home, Johnston said.
No injuries were reported and firefighters were able to clear the scene at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Johnston said.
Also reporting to the call were deputies with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and an ambulance crew from The Memorial Hospital in Craig.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org