Firefighters face new challenges as cold weather moves in

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A vacant home on Hayden Ave caught fire Friday evening.

Fire Chief Richard Richardson said there were no injuries. Investigators have not determined what caused the fire.

While firefighters battle fire, the extreme cold creates additional pressures for them.

Chief Richardson said there’s no such thing as a routine fire.

When temperatures drop below freezing firefighters have to consider the added dangers they face while out battling the blaze.

“It does get worse for us when we’re throwing water and it’s coming out from the interior creating ice buildup on sidewalks on steps,” said Richardson.

Water could potentially cause injuries creating more problems than just the fire itself.

Firefighters are enduring the cold. They go from extreme heat to extreme cold and that forces fire departments to make more adjustments to keep firefighters warm.

“We will call for additional resources in order to have more personnel on hand,” said Richardson. “We’ll call for buses.”

Even though this fire on Hayden caused no injuries, vacant homes during the winter means there could be a person inside staying warm adding another layer of difficulty for firefighters.

“This time of year we have a lot of people who use those for shelter, who otherwise don’t have shelter,” said Richardson. “So we need to ensure that these houses are clear of victims.”

Investigators are not sure if anyone was in the vacant Hayden Avenue house fire when it started. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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