URALLA firefighters battled extreme conditions at a house fire on Saturday night.
In frosty minus 10 degree temperature, firefighters were stopped in their tracks when a water main on Queen Street burst, flooding the road with icy water that quickly turned into black ice.
Without the pressure from the water main, water inside the firefighter’s hose froze solid, and another truck was sent to relay more water to the team.
Fire and Rescue NSW region north three duty commander Wayne Zikan said he’s never seen anything like it before.
“It’s pretty rare,it was certainly very cold, with a combination of the extreme cold and lack of pressure that’s when it froze up,” he said.
“As you can imagine the water coming out of the property froze on the footpath and road which then made it extremely slippery and dangerous – so Uralla Shire Council was forced to close the road for a while.”
When firefighters arrived at the Queen Street property, the cottage was well alight, with flames breaking through every window.
“We don’t believe it’s suspicious, but we haven’t been able to determine the cause specifically,” Mr Zikan said.
“The firefighters did a good job considering the extreme conditions – it makes it more challenging.
“As a firefighter you are trained to rely on your water supply, so you always have a plan if that fails and that’s what they did on the night.”
Firefighters report it took around just one hour without water pressure for the hose to freeze over.