'Equipment Is Frozen in Place': Firefighters Battle Cold, Flames | NECN
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'Equipment Is Frozen in Place': Firefighters Battle Cold, Flames

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Firefighters had to contend with frigid weather Friday as they knocked down a 6-alarm fire in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood. (Published Friday, Dec. 16, 2016)

    Although a massive 6-alarm fire is finally out in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood, ice is still everywhere - from the street to firefighting equipment - as temperatures remain well below freezing.

    The fire, which happened in a Bunker Hill Street building with a laundromat on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors, started just before dawn Friday when temperatures were in the single digits.

    Water was freezing almost immediately after leaving the firefighters' hoses.

    "When you have these kinds of conditions, it's 2 degrees, things freeze very rapidly," Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn said.

    Brutal Cold Wrecks Havoc on Firefighters

    Brutal Cold Wrecks Havoc on Firefighters
    The brutal cold took a toll on the men and women of the Boston Fire Department and the equipment they need.
    (Published Friday, Dec. 16, 2016)

    The brutal cold clearly took a toll on the men and women of the Boston Fire Department and the equipment they need. Firefighters were covered in frost, and Bunker Hill Street was turned into a sheet of ice.

    "You get a lot of hazards in this type of weather - slipping and falling, everything is frozen, the street is frozen, there is a lot of danger," Finn said. "Our equipment is frozen in place, so we will be here for a while today trying to recapture our equipment."

    "All the gear is freezing up. Firefighters themselves are freezing up," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

    Firefighters and Boston EMS personnel had to be rotated at the scene due to the cold.

    "It's been tough on the EMTs and paramedics. Because it's so cold we are essentially taking turns staying by the fire scene in case someone needs us quickly," Boston EMS Deputy Superintendent Steve McHugh said.

    Friday's blaze left at least 20 people homeless. No one was injured.

    The Boston Fire Chief estimates $2 million in damages.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire crews are expected to be at the scene all day. 

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