Firefighters battle Rochester house fire in frigid temps

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

By Dan Gunderson


Ten people escaped a house fire that sent one firefighter to the hospital early Monday morning in Rochester.

Email newsletter signup

Deputy fire chief Steven Belau said all residents got out with minor smoke inhalation.

The fire started in the garage, but detectors inside the house picked up the smoke and woke those sleeping inside, he said.

Belau said frigid temperatures — as low as 19 below zero — made fighting the blaze more difficult.

“The firefighters get wet where they’re fighting the fire where there’s some considerable heat. But then the second they step outside with it that cold it’s almost like flash freezing. So their gear gets very stiff,” he said. “The big challenge is staying warm and staying flexible.”

One firefighter was treated for undisclosed injuries and released at St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester.