Several fire brigades join forces to fight house fires in extreme cold

According to Chief Bill Lampila of the Brooktondale Volunteer Fire Company, the first call saying a wall was warm came just before 2 a.m. and he and another firefighter arrived to find the house with the fire visible and solved one second alarm off.

Photos courtesy of Neptune Hose Co. #1 of Dryden, Inc.

Firefighters from across the region came to help at the White Church Road scene, with mutual aid including personnel and equipment from Slaterville, Varna, Dryden, Freeville, McLean, Cayuga Heights, Candor, Danby and Ithaca filling tankers. The Tompkins County Coordinator was on site and Bang’s Ambulance was on call in case of injuries.

The home was occupied by two adults, a child and two dogs, all of whom escaped unharmed. Chief Lampila tells us the home is a total loss and the American Red Cross is working to provide emergency housing for the family. He says there’s no official cause of the fire yet, but the initial call of a warm wall leads officials to suspect a chimney fire.

Firefighters silhouette against a house fire at night

“Firefighting has been challenged by extremely cold sub-zero temperatures and wind chill,” said a statement from Neptune Hose Co. #1 of Dryden. McLean Fire and Rescue brought its rehab trailer to the scene to provide firefighters with a warm respite.

Chief Lampila, who finally returned to the station just before 10am, tells us that crews worked throughout the night to pour water on the structure to keep it from flaring up again.

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