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that's 7 degrees *Fahrenheit*, people.

Fire heavily damaged a home near Wolf Lake Sunday night. No injuries were reported in the blaze, which broke out in the C. F. Kloepper home at about 10:15 p.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but was believed to have started in the area of the home's chimney, then spread quickly into the attic area. Noble Township firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the second floor of the two story wood frame home, at 2535 W Wolf Lake Road.

Firefighters were hampered by frigid temperatures, which hovered at 7 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the fire. They had to truck water to the scene, which is not close to a hydrant, and break through ice to establish a water supply from a nearby lake.

A Noble County Highway Department sand truck responded when water, splashed onto the roadway from tanker shuttles, quickly froze, making driving conditions hazardous. Noble REMC crews were also called out to cut power to the residence, and a Noble County EMS unit stood by as a precaution. Extra firefighters were called so crews could be rotated, to cut down on the chance of frostbite or hypothermia.

The fire was declared under control at 11:29 p.m., but firefighters remained on the scene until 1 a.m. The home received heavy fire, smoke and water damage.

In addition to Noble Township trucks, a pumper, rescue truck and tanker responded from the Albion Fire Department. Other units were then brought to the scene from the Thorne Creek and Churubusco fire departments, while a Kendallville Fire crew was brought to Albion for standby. The Cromwell fire Department was also on standby during the incident.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
Good lord that's cold! Such an irony that firefighters risk frostbite, but it's far from being funny.

Presumably in this weather people are so determined to stay warm that they are just that little bit more likely to run risks like building up fires too high and not banking them down before bed. This sounds like the sort of major incident you really don't want too many of!
Jan. 22nd, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
you're right, heating related fires are lots more common when it's so cold people will do anything to warm up a bit. We had another fire just a couple of days before that started the same way. With the cost of heating rising so much, more and more people are going to turn to wood burning, which means our chimney fire calls are going to skyrocket after the chimneys have gone a few years without being cleaned properly.
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
I've often wondered how firefighters fare in much colder climes.

From reading this, not well. :-(

I was so relieved to read that no one was injured.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
No, I'll take a fire on a hot day over one on a cold day, any time. At least in the heat you don't have to worry about pumps and hoses freezing, or slipping on the ice, or air packs freezing up while you're inside the building -- as has happened to me.
Jan. 21st, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Wow. It's really crazy to think that cold is a firefighter's enemy. You wouldn't think so, but it makes sense.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, the cold is horrible for us. So much of our job involves water, after all ... not to mention we have to get the building cleared of smoke, which often means big ventilations fans that generate high wind chills -- inside the building. Not to mention, I just plain *hate* cold.
Jan. 21st, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Well, thank goodness no one was injured! I hope the family found a warm place to stay while the damage is repaired . . . definately not a good time to be forced from your house.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Just between you and mean, we found 37 guns in the place (all legal, mind you), plus entire kegs of gunpowder! So if they showed up at my door needing a place to stay for the night, I wouldn't argue! :-) But we've got a good Red Cross around here, they help a lot.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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