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Cold weather created difficulties for firefighters during pair of Winnipeg blazes

Winnipeg firefighters were faced with an extra set of challenges while attacking a pair of fires on Wednesday morning due to the frigid temperatures.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) was called to the first fire at a bungalow in the 600 block of Magnus Avenue at 7:35 a.m.

When crews got to the scene, they found smoke coming from the house and launched an interior attack. However, crews were forced to transition to an exterior attack due to worsening conditions and used an aerial ladder truck to fight the fire.

The fire has been declared under control, but firefighters remain at the scene on Wednesday afternoon to put out hotspots.

The cold weather created challenging conditions for firefighters, as the area became slippery with ice.

“We’ve had 16 crews rotating through here throughout the morning due to the cold weather and freezing equipment,” said Jack Robertson, district chief of fire rescue operations with the WFPS.

No one was inside the home at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.

The fire is under investigation. Though there are no damage estimates at this time, the house is considered a total loss.

FIRE ON FURBY

The WFPS also responded to a separate, unrelated fire at a vacant apartment building in the 400 block of Furby Street on Wednesday morning.

Crews were called to the scene around 7:50 a.m. and upon arrival found smoke and flames coming from the building.

Firefighters attacked the fire from inside the structure, getting it under control by 9:48 a.m.

No one was inside the apartment building and no one was hurt. The fire is under investigation and there are no damage estimates at this time.

The city notes that there have been several fires at this building, including in March 2020, July 2022, September 2022, and May 2023.

When the roads reopen in the areas of these fires, Winnipeggers are being reminded to exercise caution fires as conditions are slippery.

City crews will be monitoring and applying sand to improve traction.

“We had multiple fires going on in the city this morning, so challenging for the crews but we rotate them in, rotate them out to keep them safe,” Robertson said.

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