Firefighters: Upcoming thaw could bring new set of challenges

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FAIRFIELD -

Local firefighters say that an upcoming thaw doesn't mean the end of weather-related challenges for them.

After days of dealing with the deep freeze, firefighters say they expect to have their hands full with headaches related to melting.

Fairfield crews rushed to Pine Creek Avenue where officials say a man's effort to melt a frozen pipe with propane ignited the wall.

On Friday, when the temperature was around 6 degrees, the department also assisted at a dangerous house fire in Easton.

“Fires kick up a little more this time of year because people are using alternate heat sources, things that we recommend never to be used,” says Assistant Chief Rodger Caisse, of the Fairfield Fire Department.

Firefighters say one simple way to avoid frozen pipes is open up kitchen cabinets so heat can reach the plumbing.

“There are countless pipes with ice frozen in them that are ruptured, as the temperature warms up a little bit, that ice is going to thaw, and water will free flow out of them,” said Caisse.

Firefighters also say that they have to make sure that their trucks are warm, as well as think about their potential problems due to the frigid weather.

“The lines that we take off our truck, our hoses, if we don't continually flow water through them they will freeze very quickly,” said Caisse.

They say there are also less common emergencies, such as a snowbound senior or a resident running out of heating oil.

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