Crews battle fire, cold in Oxford - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crews battle fire, cold in Oxford

OXFORD (KWWL)-- An Eastern Iowa family is without a home Wednesday, after a fire that started in the garage spread to the house.

A woman and four children that were home when the blaze started were able to get out safely.

It's a scene Mark Wright won't soon forWednesday

"Got down the hill here and I could see the garage had smoke just pouring out of it," said Wright.

Wright came home Wendesday morning to see crews battling a garage fully engulfed in flames at his neighbor's home across the street.

"You got to feel for them.  I can't really imagine what it would have been like if it happened to me, let alone your neighbor," said Wright.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire soon after it spread from the garage to the house.

Still crews believe the home to be a total loss.

Oxford fire chief Al Tomas says the subzero temperatures make their job that much more difficult.

"This time of year, like I say, when its cold, it's not good everything moves so much slower," said Tomas.

Challenges fighting this particular winter fire were numerous.

Crews from many neighboring towns had to be called in to help keep water moving and the lines from freezing.

Secondary road crews were on hand to drop sand on icy areas.

And then there's the challenge of keeping firefighters warm.

"During the cold weather you got to take your hat off to these firefighters.  It's very cold here, working with water, we try to provide them with some kind of hot meal," said Captain Terry Smith of the Johnson County Salvation Army, who provided assistance to both firefighters and the family.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner


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