Breaking Ice to Battle Flames

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Close to 50 firefighters worked to put out flames at a barn near Factoryville.

Crews not only had to worry about the fire but also the frigid temperatures in Wyoming County.

"You have the slipping, tripping factor of the ice on the ground from the hoses," said Chief Kevin Howard, Factoryville Fire Company.

"It's hard on the equipment. It's just all around more difficult than a normal nice warm day. Stuff will freeze up," said Capt. Bill Fiorini, Factoryville EMS.

Emergency crews say the fire started inside the barn in a wood burner around 10 a.m. Saturday. No one was hurt, and no animals were inside this section of the barn when it filled with smoke, but a storage area full of tools suffered the most damage.

Firefighters worked in shifts to keep everyone warm and ready to go.

"We alternate the men on shorter time spans, get them rehabbed, get them fluids, get their vitals taken. Anybody that doesn't meet a certain standard, we bench them for a while until their vitals come down," Fiorini explained.

The nearest fire hydrant is about three miles away, so fire officials had to cut a hole into a patch of ice to get water to fight the fire.

"We had to cut through about 10 inches of ice to get water and drop our strainers in, and we had water. When they are hollering for water, you need to get it to them as quickly as you can," said Chief Randy White, Triton Hose Company.

Firefighters were able to save the barn so the farm can continue to operate.

The fire was ruled accidental.

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