Lincoln firefighters battle overnight house fire despite coldest day of the season
Lincoln Fire & Rescue responded to a house fire near 28 & R Streets shortly before 1:00 Wednesday morning.
Officials say residents felt heat in the walls and smelled smoke.
The fire was contained to the second floor of the home, with LFR putting water on it from above.
All four occupants and some of their pets got out safely, but four pets perished in the blaze.
The Red Cross was on scene to relocate the residents of the home, as the house will be unlivable for quite some time due to all the utilities needing to be shut off.
Battalion Chief Jim Bopp says the initial rush of adrenaline and layers of clothing kept firefighters warm while attacking the fire.
It’s the aftermath of battling the blaze that makes the cold weather a dangerous factor.
“As things go along, the water gets everywhere and it turns to ice on their coats, which kind of helps with insulating themselves. Right now is the worst part for them, trying to stay warm, so we brought a rehabilitation vehicle out to stay warm in,” said Chief Bopp.
A neighbor across the street said she could tell the firefighters were trying to keep warm.
“The ones working on the fire came inside and then they traded spots,” Odetha Irakoze said.
LFR also tries to limit the amount of water they put on the fire, as it freezes as soon as it hits the ground.
Firefighters wear ice cleats and use ice melt to avoid slipping.
Investigators say the cause was electrical and there is about $60,000 in damages.