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Firefighters take on the cold

City of Fort Wayne and Allen County offices were closed Wednesday because of the frigid temperatures, but for firefighters whether it's 110 degrees outside or sub zero, work is a must.

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 6:41 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2019 8:38 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Space heaters caused one of the first fires in Fort Wayne during the arctic blast.

A fire damaged a home on the 4400 hundred block of Winter Street at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Nobody was hurt, but a person who uses a wheelchair was rescued from the house.

"Some of the things we do to prepare for situations like this is we have maintenance staff that is ready to respond to those incidents and provide any extra equipment they may need. one of the things they are doing right now is picking up the large 5 inch hose that we connect to fire hydrants because as soon as they let the water out of it, it freezes stiff," Deputy Chief Adam O’Connor said.

That wasn't the only fire Fort Wayne Fire Department put out. They also battled a barn fire on Wheelock Road, which resulted in some challenges.

Sometimes extra crews are called in so they can switch out to stay warm. One of the places to stay warm on scene is called a rehab bus.

"At the barn fire, we used a rehab bus that was provided to use by Washington Township. They sent some of their staff and one of their interns to help out and so what we do is we take the bus it's heated. We put the firefighters in there to warm up. They have warm liquids like coffee and such," O’Connor explained.

While they're out there, when they aren't on the bus, they're wearing the same gear they wear in the summer made to deal with heat. O'Connor said it's made for firefighting, not comfort.

"It does provide some thermal protection to keep your body heat inside. It doesn't last forever in these conditions just like any other cold winter jacket wouldn't last forever. Once again, they're putting the fire out with water, and so if it gets wet, it's going to have the opposite effect of keeping them warm freezing to their bodies, so we use them quick," he said.

Then they go right back to the rehab bus.

O'Connor said the best thing you can do, with temps like these is: if you smell or suspect a fire, call quicker than you normally would.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95106

Reported Deaths: 3570
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17404515
Cuyahoga12881482
Hamilton9248248
Lucas5035319
Montgomery409280
Summit3338217
Marion289644
Butler274360
Mahoning2437253
Pickaway236542
Stark1713137
Warren166935
Lorain165077
Columbiana158360
Trumbull1451105
Fairfield126427
Delaware121918
Licking115844
Clark109214
Lake105436
Wood95458
Clermont85911
Medina84833
Miami78137
Tuscarawas75614
Portage72460
Allen66742
Greene63511
Belmont59026
Richland54712
Ashtabula54445
Erie53527
Geauga53544
Mercer53513
Wayne50858
Ross4194
Huron3784
Ottawa36125
Athens3501
Sandusky34317
Darke34126
Madison33610
Hancock3332
Holmes3226
Auglaize2265
Lawrence2250
Union2221
Jefferson2103
Muskingum1991
Scioto1991
Putnam19817
Washington19822
Coshocton1856
Knox1857
Preble1722
Crawford1685
Seneca1673
Shelby1644
Morrow1602
Clinton1536
Hardin15312
Champaign1502
Fulton1411
Highland1361
Ashland1333
Defiance1324
Logan1302
Wyandot1257
Williams1243
Brown1181
Guernsey1127
Hocking1119
Carroll1105
Perry1093
Henry1081
Fayette1020
Monroe9118
Pike700
Van Wert701
Jackson680
Paulding620
Gallia581
Adams562
Vinton302
Meigs260
Harrison211
Morgan200
Noble160
Unassigned00
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