House fire in Pleasant Prairie sends 2 people to hospital

CREATED Jan 22, 2013

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Firefighters had to battle flames and the bitter cold in Pleasant Prairie Tuesday, and two people were sent to the hospital.

At last check, those two people who were inside the house were recovering at the hospital. The home, or what is left of it, is in bad shape after firefighters braved the brutal temperatures to get the blaze under control.

In the dead of winter, fighting a fire isn't easy.

"Pumps and water and cold weather don't mix," said Craig Roepke, Assistant Fire Chief with Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue.

Pleasant Prairie firefighters rushed to this home on 39th Avenue, after some sort of electrical fire sparked in the basement.

"They noticed nothing showing,” said Roepke. “While investigating, they noticed some heavy smoke starting to come out of the windows."

Two people were inside at the time of the fire. Medics brought them to the hospital. But firefighters stayed on the scene for hours. The brutal cold, freezing water around pipes and causing trouble for crews on the ground.

“We're exposed to not only the elements, but freezing water, there are slip hazards, so all around, it's primarily a safety issue," said Roepke.

Pleasant Prairie called in other departments just to make sure equipment, and firefighters, could rotate and keep warm.

It's a valuable resource, specially when the mercury makes matters worse.

"You’ve just gotta fight through it,” said Brett Ponejolic, a fire medic. “[You’ve] gotta deal with it. And if you really need to get warm, go get warm. But we've got plenty of guys backing us up all the time."

Nine other fire departments were called to back up the fire department today. The house is in shambles, but folks are glad everyone just made it out alive.