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Firefighters respond to Menomonee Falls house fire in frigid temperatures

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 21:43:29-05

MENOMONEE FALLS — Almost a dozen fire departments responded to a fire on Ridgeline Trail on Wednesday afternoon.

The bitter winds and extreme cold made it hard for crews to combat the fire.

"The weather is making it very difficult to conduct firefighting operations. We were lucky all the hydrants worked, but the smaller hand lines are still very hard to keep flowing water," Menomonee Falls Battalion Chief Kurt Harthun said.

Helmets and gear were frozen solid.

“The ice makes a little of an insulator, but it does make it hard to move," Harthun said.

A thick layer of ice encased the ground, creating slippery conditions. To keep warm, crews took turns rotating inside a warming bus and ambulances.

Fire officials said a mother and her two children were inside the home when sparks started to fly in the back laundry room. The fire quickly spread, but everyone was able to get out safely.

There were no injuries to firefighters. The Red Cross is assisting the family.