Crews fight blaze in tough conditions

newstead fire

A mother, her two children and a dog escaped their burning house Tuesday morning on Hiller Road, in Newstead.

Newstead Assistant Fire Chief John Wideman says the fire started in the vicinity of a wood stove fire place. As many as seven fire companies are believed to have responded.

Bitter cold temperatures made it difficult to battle the blaze, and firefighters were forced to work in 20-minute shifts to stay warm.

Chief Wideman said, “These were some of the worst conditions I have ever been involved in as far as firefighting. We did have a lot of ice on the ground and the strong winds moved the fire swiftly though the house.”

Newstead Fire Police kept traffic at a distance from the fire, but even they had to periodically go into their cars to warm up.

“We have issues of hypothermia with firefighters, extreme cold conditions. It’s extremely slippery and extremely dangerous for being out fighting a fire today, and with the high wind, it made the fire spread to much quicker,” said EMS Officer Howard Stanley.

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