Freezing cold not stopping St. Louis firefighters

ST. LOUIS – With the arctic blast passing through the St. Louis area you're probably feeling the effects of these freezing temperatures.

For St. Louis firefighters, there's no staying inside; they must be prepared to jump into action. Firefighters pride themselves on being aggressive when fighting fires, even when the wind chill temperatures are below zero.

Such was the case late Monday night when firefighters were called to battle an out of control blaze on Ashland Avenue in north St. Louis. With the temperature sitting at zero degrees, fire hydrants froze, forcing firefighters to lay hoses farther down the block to get water to the area.

On Tuesday morning, with the thermostat at four degrees, firefighters responded to a house fire at a vacant three-story brick building on Newhouse Avenue. St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said firefighters are trained and conditioned to work in below freezing temperatures.

“There are certain things we can do to stay warm and try to get enough resources on the scene so we can rotate crews. It's one of the things you adapt to; of course, it's challenging. We're human just like the next person,” he said. “Extremities get cold. Dexterity decreases. It's tougher to do things with your hands.”

Mosby said it's very important to make sure they have enough manpower on the scenes of fires so they can rotate crews in and out during the bitter cold. He said when the weather turns this cold, they see an increase in the number of fires.