Fighting fires is already a difficult job, but the cold temperatures make it even harder for crews.
Firefighters were called to a home in East Hampton on Wednesday evening, where a fire broke out. The weather was only one of the obstacles crews faced.
The had a tough night trying to save the home on Colchester Avenue, but from the very beginning, the deck was stacked against emergency responders.
Crews feared someone was trapped inside, but when they opened the door they found the home was packed with junk.
"By all that stuff being cluttered around, the guys have to go in there and make a search. It makes it difficult to make the search," said East Hampton Assistant Fire Chief Martin Swan.
Fortunately, nobody was home when the fire started, but the blaze was hard to control because there are no nearby hydrants, so firefighters had to use tanker trucks for water.
Route 16 in East Hampton was shut down while crews fought the fire, however it has since reopened.
No one was injured, but because of the difficult conditions, it took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the flames.
“The cold air is just really tough to work under,” Swan said.
He added that when temperatures dip below freezing, everything about fighting fires becomes just a little bit more difficult.
“You take a chance of the water lines freezing,” Swan said, adding that it’s wear-and-tear on the guys too.
What Swan dreads the most is the fact that although Wednesday was bad, even colder temps are coming.
“Especially the next couple days. It's going to be brutal,” Swan said.
Swan says there's not much firefighters can do to deal with the cold. They have to bundle up and make the best of it.
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