Subzero temperatures, dangerous wind chills pose challenges for firefighters

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills created some challenges Monday night for firefighters in Wayne Township.

According to the Wayne Township Fire Department, crews responded to an automatic alarm around 7 p.m. Monday at Lester Sales Company, 4312 W. Minnesota St.

Firefighters said the building was full of smoke and upgraded the alarm. Sprinklers had activated and extinguished part of the fire, but crews encountered zero visibility as they tried to extinguish what remained.

They had it under control in about 20 minutes.

Upon arrival, the extremely cold weather caused their gear and breathing apparatuses to freeze. However, crews didn’t have any water issues.

Captain Michael Pruitt says when temperatures drop below zero, crews take extra precautions to stay safe. They bring extra layers and if necessary, have warming buses at the scene so that firefighters have a place to get out of the cold.

Crews from the Indianapolis Fire Department and Decatur Township Fire Department provided assistance at the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.