Firefighters say calls increase in cold weather

Updated: Jan. 1, 2018 at 4:32 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Firefighters were busy on New Years Day responding to calls across the region, and the cold temperature made things more difficult.

Firefighters say when the temperature d rops, they get the most calls and extra precautions need to be made to make sure these firefighters are safe.

Multiple crews are called to the Ashley Park apartments off Jahnke Road when calls starting coming in about smoke in the area. But it was a Richmond police officer who got there first.

"He was able to get an extinguisher out of his car and do the initial knock down of the fire," said Richmond Fire Department captain Mark Wagner.

Luckily,  the fire was contained to the back deck of the leasing office and firefighters were able to knock it down quickly. There is no damage to other apartments and renters don't have to leave.

Fire crews were also busy in Chesterfield knocking out a house fire on Old Lane off of Hopkins Road. Three people who live there will have to find somewhere else to live until the home is fixed.

And with temperature dipping into the 20s, the cold presents an extra challenge.

"Things start freezing," said Captain Wagner. "Your coats start freezing. Your gloves get to where you can't manage with your gloves."

Water on the ground can start to freeze as well so can the rungs on the ladder. Crews say it can make things more difficult.

"If the water gets out onto the streets. we try to have sand trucks available to try to sand the area where we have the water leaks," said captain Wagner.

The captain says they expect many more calls tonight, but there are steps homeowners can take to make sure they're safe.

"If you're going to use a space heater, make sure you have adequate space around it. We recommend at least three feet," says Captain Wagner.

The captain says make sure your chimneys are also cleaned at least once a year, especially before you use it.

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