Firefighters fighting fires and frigid temperatures

house fires in winter.jpeg
Posted at 6:12 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 19:16:25-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — House fires are dangerous any time of the year, but they become more common as the temperature dips.

This is because more people are looking for ways to heat their homes.

The Nashville Fire Department says these freezing temperatures can also make it hard for crews to do their job.

Friday morning Nashville fire crews tackled a few house fires -- including this one on Rifle Range Road in Old Hickory.

Deputy Chief John Jordan says crews are not just fighting the fire -- they're also fighting the ice.

"Just like extreme heat extreme cold so there's going to be exertion, whether it's hot or cold," said Jordan.

Fighting any fire is tough.

Jordan says it gets more dangerous on firefighters when it's bitterly cold.

"Sometimes the water's coming out into the ground, and you talk about slip hazards for the engineers who are driving, the crews walking it's just dangerous that way," said Jordan, "Slip hazard for ladders getting up on roofs, cutting holes for ventilation. icy conditions, it’s the same way."

Extra backup was called to this scene so firefighters can have a chance to get warm and change out of their wet gear.

"Once you get wet you know I've been at fires where your gloves stick to your coat because it’s so cold outside."

Thankfully the homeowner from the fire made it out safely and the cause is under investigation.

But fire crews see their highest call volumes in the winter.

During winter, fire deaths increase by almost 75 percent across the State, according to Tennessee fire data.

Heating equipment like space heaters are the leading cause of home fire deaths nationally and among the leading known causes for home fire deaths in Tennessee.

"People got electricity plugged up, plugs plugged up in power strip daisy chain, what people are at home they’re using," said Jordan.

He also advises people not use use their ovens to heat their homes.

Crews also worked a fire a chimney fire Friday and everyone inside were out of the home when crews arrived.

Chief Jordan says make sure you have working smoke alarms, a fire escape plan and just be safe.