Firefighters battle GR house fire, freezing temps

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Firefighters battled a house fire in Grand Rapids amid bitter cold temperatures Friday morning.

The fire broke out around 6:15 a.m. at a house in the 900 block of Dickinson Street SE near Eastern Avenue. At the time, temperatures in Grand Rapids were around 16 degrees.

Firefighters told 24 Hour News 8 when they arrived on scene they had to deal with frozen hydrants, which made it difficult to put out the flames initially. They also needed to determine where the fire was coming from.

“We searched the entire building and confirmed everyone was out at that time,” Grand Rapids Deputy Fire Chief Ron Tennant said. “We had difficulty locating the fire at first, so we were doing an aggressive interior search and attack for the fire.”

Tennant said the house became unstable, so firefighters worked to get water onto flames from the outside rather than risk safety. 

One firefighter was checked on by EMS but Tennant could not elaborate on potential injuries. 

The house fire was one of hundreds of calls the Grand Rapids Fire Department responded to since freezing rain brought down power lines and trees around the city. 

Tennant said the department has coordinated with the Emergency Operations Center since the city opened it Thursday. 

“It was a busy day yesterday. The numbers appear to be record breaking. I can’t verify that, but we did a lot of responses yesterday,” the deputy chief said.

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