Local fire crews battle icy conditions during house fire

Local fire crews battle icy conditions during house fire
(Source: Oran Fire Protection District)
(Source: Oran Fire Protection District)
(Source: Oran Fire Protection District)
(Source: Oran Fire Protection District)

ORAN, MO (KFVS) - With the weather being this cold, some things tend to not work as effectively.

The Heartland saw their highs in the teens on Sunday, December 31, with lows in the single digits and wind chills in the negative.

Some people have to work at moments notice out in this extremely cold weather, not only during the day but at night as well.

Firefighters know all too well how treacherous their jobs can be and to add in freezing temperatures, that becomes more dangerous.

On Saturday, December 31, two local fire departments battled against the elements.

Oran, Scott County Rural and other departments fought a house fire in Oran.

"The temperatures alone with obviously affect the human body and how we work," Scott County Rural Fire Chief Jeremy Perrien said.

"The duration of time we can actually work out in the elements, so we have to think ahead of the game and get several departments in route right off the bat."

Fire crews brought out hoses and sprayed water onto the house to extinguish the flames. In doing so, that caused water to pool and freeze around their hoses, freeze on the truck, and of course the firefighters themselves.

"The emergency crews last night were experiencing some of their nozzles were freezing, the water on their fire gear was causing their gear to actually freeze," Perrien added. "It's just elements that can detrimental to one's health and safety."

Unfortunately, the home was a total loss due to the fire.

The family told Heartland News that they were at they just arrived at the home when they started noticing the power going out in various rooms. That's when they went outside and noticed the home was on fire and got out quickly.

They did appreciate all the fire crews did and said they did a great job, especially working in such cold conditions.

The trucks themselves worked in the cold weather but some equipment froze up. However, that could still be a problem yet in the next several days.

"When temperatures are at zero or feel like below zero, that will affect the truck and the operation of the truck, even as it's going down the road," Perrien added.

Perrien warns people about the frigid atmosphere over the course of the next couple days.

"With temperatures forecasted to be in the single digits over the next week, it is going to be very difficult to heat your homes, especially older homes. I advise using extreme caution when using supplemental heating sources. Some people will use their stoves or extra space heaters to stay warm however using items such as stoves can not only cause fires but serious medical problems as well. I advise that if you need help staying warm to please contact the American Red Cross so we can help you find a warm place to stay. In the event of power loss, we will work to provide warning shelters throughout the county. A secondary and very important aspect to keep in mind in the event of a power outage is to maintain drinking water, food, extra batteries and possibly charging banks for cell phones," Perrien said in a release.

He said there are some things people can do to, not only help reduce the amount of fire calls for the firefighters but to help themselves as well.

"We know that accidents happen but if you can use a little extra caution, even if it means putting yourself out of place or causing a little discomfort to go stay with family or friends. Someone that has a better heating sources," Perrien said. "That could not only save all of your property but potentially save your life and keep the emergency responders out of the frigid temperatures."

Scott County Rural Fire Department has roughly 50 volunteer firefighters on staff for their three locations.

For the next several days, those firefighters are taking turns volunteering their time to stay there 24/7 to ensure the quickest response time possible for those that need it in these extreme cold weather times.

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