HOWARD TOWNSHIP — Fire crews were dispatched to a house fire in eastern Knox County at 8:15 a.m. Monday morning and battled not only the fire, but also the icy weather conditions.
According to Captain Brian Durbin of the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District, firefighters came from East Knox, Fredericktown and Bladensburg as well as Monroe and College Townships, but they couldn’t get as close to the structure in the 25000 block of Weber Road as they wanted due to the conditions.
The driveway to the house was not only covered in ice, but it was also up a hill, which immediately altered their plans.
“We didn’t know the drive wasn’t maintained and the first truck didn’t have chains, but we attempted it,” said Durbin about his team’s approach. “We couldn’t get all the way up, so we ran hoses up the hill for the last 500 feet, then split them off.”
Neither the owner of the house nor the caretaker were at home at the time, but the fire crews were unsure of that for the first hour that they were battling the blaze. Law enforcement and family members had to confirm that the house was unoccupied and then the crews adjusted their approach away from being a potential rescue, Durbin said.
The house was a total loss.
Even after putting out the blaze, the crews had difficulty leaving the scene. The first truck on the scene got stuck on ice on its left side and then mud on the right, which stranded the vehicle until towing equipment helped free it.