ENNIS, Mont. (AP) – Firefighters faced below-freezing temperatures that caused their equipment to freeze on Wednesday morning as they battled a blaze at a four-unit apartment building in the southwestern town of Ennis from Montana.
“Everything was freezing,” including the nozzles and breathing equipment, said Joe Brummell, director of disaster and emergency services for Madison County.
The fire was reported around 5:45 a.m. by a resident of one of the apartments, he said.
By the time the fire went out around 8 a.m., three of the four apartments were a total loss, Brummell said. Three people were displaced, but no one was injured, he said.
The Madisonian newspaper captured an image of firefighter Pat Noack with his helmet, beard and gear covered in ice.
The temperature was zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) at Ennis on Wednesday morning, Brummell said, with winds blowing at 5 to 10 mph (8-16 km / h), causing sub-zero wind chill factors.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it allegedly started in the attic of one of the apartments, Brummell said.
Ennis, a community of 850 people, is a popular fly fishing destination about 50 miles southwest of Bozeman.
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