Fire departments battle overnight house fire in freezing temperatures


LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — Several fire departments in the Lauderdale County area responded to a Monday night house fire during the winter ice storm that spanned across northwest Alabama.

Even with frigid temperatures in the Shoals, first responders continue helping the community because when there’s an emergency, someone must respond.

Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department helped battle the house fire while also battling 14 degree temperatures with freezing water and equipment.

“We had trouble with hose lines freezing, our pumps froze, we were able to flow water but it made it very difficult,” said Morris Lentz, Rogersville Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Fire Chief. He went on to say the house was so engulfed in flames, the roof was about to cave in.

A family was displaced from the home and it took hours before the fire was extinguished. Because of the frigid temperatures, Lentz says a big concern was firefighter safety.

“A lot of them were covered in ice to be honest with you. A lot of their equipment froze up, their air packs actually froze,” said Lentz.

Now, they are working on cleaning up equipment like the 700 foot frozen fire hose.

Lentz says sticking out those cold temperatures was pretty rough.

“Being from the South, we’re not used to this kind of weather, especially fighting fire,” he added. “To be honest with you, I don’t know how the fire departments up North do it. It’s just insane, the cold.”

Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department gives a special thanks to Lexington, Elgin, Anderson, Center Star, Shoals EMS and Rogersville PD.

The wintry weather is expected to continue for the next few days.

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