Cold weather hinders crews' efforts to fight blaze
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The cold temperatures made it difficult for firefighters in Swampscott who battled a three-alarm blaze Thursday morning.
The temperature was 10 degrees, with a wind chill factor of 3 degrees, as thick smoke and flames raged through the roof of the home on Andrew Road.
Neighbors said a husband, wife and four children live in the home with several pets.
A neighbor said he went to start his car at 9 a.m. and saw smoke and flames coming out the windows. The neighbor said he is pretty sure all the family members had left for the day and he tried to get the dog out, but couldn’t.
“It was pretty scary at times, I wasn’t sure, it seemed to be in the roof and in the walls. They were having a hard time getting it out, but I think they finally got it,” said Ron Trapasso, a neighbor. “I went in about two steps inside calling for the dog to see if I could get him to come out the first time. Then the second time I tried again, but I realized I was letting air into the house and so I tried for a few minutes, but I heard a big crackle and I closed the door.”
The animal control officer confirms the family dog was killed in the fire. 7News was told two pet rabbits were rescued, but there is no word on the family cat.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental.
The sub-freezing temperatures also led to delays for Boston school children, and some school buses had trouble starting.
Highway crews had to remove icicles from an overpass in Milton, which caused some lanes to be temporarily shut down on Interstate 93.
“Dress in layers, keep moving. And duck in and out of the cold. That’s all,” said Bill Burgess, a letter carrier.
It was tough for anyone braving the cold Thursday, especially those not used to New England winters.
“I’m not accustomed to this weather because I’m not American,” said Nergiz Haytural, a native of Turkey.
The cold temperatures didn’t stop Kevin Burke from his jogging routine.
“It has to get down to maybe zero to five, depending on the wind to become difficult breathing. But in terms of cold weather, once you get moving -- I’m sweating, I’m pretty hot right now,” Burke said.
After all, it is New England, and when it gets this cold -- either bundle up, layer up, or stay inside.