Firefighters faced temperature extremes to battle blaze in Beckley
BECKLEY, W.Va. -
Crews were called to the scene of a house fire in Raleigh County Monday night. They were still on the scene of the fire more than 13 hours later.
Emergency dispatchers said flames broke out of a home on Teel Road in the Maxwell Hill Area of Beckley.
According to crews on scene, two people were inside the home when the fire broke out. Firefighters said that neighbors were able to get into the home and rescue the elderly couple who lived there. There were no injuries.
Beckley firefighters said the house fire was a constant 14 hour battle.
From the beginning, slick and heavy snow along with chains on their truck tires made for a longer than usual response time.
Once they started attacking the fire... The bitter cold made a hard fight even harder as they worked through the night.
"Dragging hoses through ice and snow, trying to walk on ice and snow, and when you're in the building you're getting wet you're hot, the building itself is hot you are working in a hostile atmosphere and when you walk outside anything that is wet like your bunker gear immediately freezes," said Lt. Terry Fischer.
Firefighters said the reason it took them all night long to get this fire under control is because the roof caved so quickly.
"Anybody that knows a fireman knows that they hate backing out of a building, once they got out, pulled the hoses out and started working from the outside, it's a lot more difficult to actually get to the fire unless you can get holes open get windows opened up and get the water where it needs to go," said Fischer.
Tuesday morning, firefighters were helping the couple cope with their loss.
"Now everything has a big sheet of ice on it a big coat of ice, we're digging through it trying to find keepsakes for the family, doing what we can do to limit their loss," said Fischer.
Beckley Fire and Police Departments arrived to the scene along with Jan Care Ambulance. It is believed that the fire may have been started by chicken being fried.