Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Firefighters respond to call in extreme cold

by The Indiana Gazette on January 07, 2014 11:00 AM

Neighbors and volunteer firefighters working in 11-below-zero cold halted a fire that damaged the back porch and rear wall of a house along Philadelphia Street before dawn today.

The Indiana fire department wrapped up the call in less than one hour, responding at 6:04 a.m. to 1470 Philadelphia St., a residence and home-based computer service business owned by Alan Jennings. Firefighters pulled out from the scene at 7:01 a.m.

A smoldering fireplace log was blamed for the fire.

“It appears that the homeowner had an odd-sized log that would not fit in his wood-burning appliance,” said assistant fire chief Paul Koons. “It burned a little bit and it looks like he removed it from the house and laid it on the porch, thinking it was out, and it wasn’t out.

“The neighbors sort of held the fire at bay until we got there.”

Koons said the log had been set out on the porch hours earlier, before the residents went to sleep for the night. The residents safely escaped the house while Indiana firefighters from Companies 1 and 2 responded to the call for help on what is regarded as the coldest morning in Indiana in almost 20 years.

“When it’s this cold, you just do what you gotta do,” Koons said. “You keep moving, keep covered up as best you can, though it gets to be a bit cumbersome.”

The damage was confined to the wooden floor of the porch and the rear exterior wall. No one was reported to be injured.

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