It was a tricky task because the burning house was surrounded by snow. The overnight fire off Highway 6 went three hours strong before it was reported.
“I saw the smoke and flames and fire trucks and lights,” Barbara Isaacson, a neighbor, said.
Firefighters tried to save the home, but the cards were stacked against them.
Working in negative eight degree temperatures, the firefighter’s gear pulled double duty by protecting them from flames and keeping them warm in the cold.
But water, their main weapon, wasn’t helping.
“Everything would freeze up so we had to keep the water running and the trucks running,” Genola Fire Chief Greg Smith said. “It was a challenge to keep everything unfrozen.”
The slick ground got more slippery when crews poured water and it fell on ice. The troubles didn’t stop there. The roof of the burning house caved in when firefighters went inside.
“It’s been remodeled and added on,” Smith said. “There are a lot of false ceilings and false walls so it was terrible to get to the fire.”
Still the home was a loss, totaling to about $170,000 in damage.
Investigators do not know what cause the fire to start. They said owner was out of town and no one was home.