Chicago warehouse catches fire then freezes as firefighters battle sub-zero temperatures
A warehouse in the US city of Chicago has become an internet sensation after it caught fire and then froze as firefighters showered it with water that hardened in the -7° temperatures. More than 200 firefighters attended the scene over the last three days reported the Huffington Post, with hot spots that burnt fiercely within the ice-encrusted building continuously doused with fresh water.
Fortunately the warehouse in the Bridgeport region of Chicago was vacant at the time so there have been no casualties however one firefighter has been admitted to hospital with a minor back injury. Those attending from the emergency services also found themselves encased in ice as water on their protective garments and within the hoses froze solid, reducing manoeuvrability.
The city is experiencing one of the lowest cold snaps in recent years with temperatures plummeting to -11° in the evening, freezing fountains and water features around Chicago. Light snow is falling over the city as firefighters continue to battle with small flames which have continued to break out within the icy shell of the warehouse. There have also been reports that the building may have to be pulled down as the weight of the ice could be too much for the fire-gutted structure to take.