How firefighters battle flames in cold weather - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

How firefighters battle flames in cold weather

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Battling a house blaze in any season is never easy, but winter time offers up several challenges.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that winter house fires result in 30% of all fire deaths.

We spoke with Rochester Fire Department officials about what they face. They say they have a system they follow to make sure their equipment works properly, and that they're well prepared to work in very cold temperatures.

"The winds and the windchill that we have during this time period is very hard to work in," said Engine Operator Larry Mueller. "Although it may be only 17 below, with a windchill of 20 or 30 below that's robbing that heat that's being generated very quickly."

Firefighters fight the battles we often can't, regardless of the climate. Even if it is difficult they do it anyway.

"Most of us are from Minnesota, so we deal with this throughout our lives. Our clothing that we wear is designed to protect us obviously from heat but it also does insulate us relatively good in the cold," said Mueller. "Our turnout pants and boots are thermal quilting in there that keep us relatively warm in the winter time."

After making sure they are all set, the next thing to take care of is the fire trucks. "The fire trucks are designed for this cold weather. They do have heaters that keep the tank and the pump system relatively warm. But when it does drop to these extreme temperatures it is more difficult to do that; keep those engines warm and the water circulating," said Mueller.

He said they keep their trucks maintained and checked daily to make sure they are able to operate in cold weather.

And fire fighters stay fit, which he said is key for them to be able to work in cold weather.

Mueller said he wants to stress the importance of making sure smoke detectors are working, and if there ever is a home fire people should get their loved ones, their pets and get out of there

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