This arctic blast made life miserable Sunday night for firefighters from seven department who battled a fire at a hog farrowing farm near Hardwick, Minnesota.
The fire killed 4,000 hogs and provided even more of a danger to those firefighters...as they battled both the heat and the cold.
The burnt remains of the hog farrowing barn are encased in ice from the water firefighters used here last night. Firefighters knew they were in for a fight the moment they arrived.
"When we pulled up we seen a lot of smoke and a lot of flame. The building was fully engulfed." Dan Kindt has been a Hardwick volunteer firefighter for 29 years. He says on the way to the fire, their equipment was already beginning to freeze up. And once they arrived on scene, it continued to freeze up. "Nothing would work right. when you got there everything was..your lines and everything were froze up. It just made it tough. Plus you had to worry about the guys."
The guys are not only Dan's fellow firefighters but they are his friends. And while they worry about their safety whenever they answer a call, Sunday night's blaze was even worse. Temps below zero and wind chills approaching 50 below are tough on anyone, let alone something who is doing something so physical and so dangerous. "Between the wind chill and that stuff, you just try to revolve guys in and out so they're protected and the equipment stay working."
Fire is unpredictable. So is cold weather. And on this day after, with the fire out and all the firefighters OK, Dan Kindt is counting his blessings. "You just never know what you're going to get yourself into when you're there."
A total of seven different fire departments responded to that fire call. Dan Kindt says it's nice to know that when you need help in horrible conditions there are people willing to help.
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