Iowa firefighters find bit of relief in the flames

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters train for all emergencies — even a temperature of minus 15 and wind chill of minus 40.

That’s what faced the crew of Engine 1 of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department and other firefighters Sunday night at a roaring house fire.

Fire Capt. Joe Miles says “fires don’t happen at 3 in the afternoon when it’s 55 degrees.”

Miles says breathing gear often freezes up, and other equipment doesn’t work right or breaks a lot easier in the frigid conditions.

The 28 firefighters who were dispatched to Sunday’s blaze took 20-minute turns on the fire line, leaving to check their equipment, fill up their breathing gear and catch some rest. No injuries were reported.

He says “it’s warmer in the house fire itself. You’d almost rather stay in it.”

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