Firefighters Battle House Fire

An East Knoxville home is destroyed after it caught fire just after 7 Saturday morning.

The Knoxville Fire Department says the house was abandoned and fortunately noone was inside when they arrived, but crews fought with mother nature to get the fire out.

"Firefighters arrived on scene and had heavy fire already coming through the roof," said Darrell Whitaker from KFD.

Heavy fire on Magnolia Avenue and a roadblock for firefighters.

"Had a fire plug right across the street, but it was frozen."

A frozen fire hydrant that set crews back a few minutes but got to work with some extended hose.

"We had extra water supply line laid."

And extra manpower called in to help.

"One of our big concerns is roof collapse. With this kind of water weight after it freezes, that's an extra worry for us."

"It gets pretty dangerous with the ice," said Eric Farmer a Knoxville firefighter.

Firefighters have to work as fast as they can to put out the fire, and stay on their feet at the same time.

"It's actually kind of trecherous just walking around the fire trucks from the water that's being sprayed around there, cause it's nothing but solid ice on the ground," said Whitaker.

Most importantly, no one was inside when crews arrived and no firefighters were hurt.

"Don't really suspect them setting the fire. I think they were just trying to get warm and it got away from them," Whitaker.

KFD says abandoned house fires are popping up more and more now as the temperatures drop.

"We just have to keep in mind that this time of year there's lible to be people inside just staying warm. That goes through your mind every time you have an abandoned house like this," said Farmer.

But firefighters say no matter how low the temps get..

"You just keep on going regardless. You don't really notice the cold till afterward."

And the work's not over once the fire is out.

"The hard part is cleaning up. They've got to take all this frozen hose that's been on the ground in the water," said Whitaker.

Fire officials say they don't know how the fire started, but with the cold temperatures it will only get worse from here.


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