Niles fire crews battle frozen hydrant while fighting house fire

NOW: Niles fire crews battle frozen hydrant while fighting house fire

NILES, Mich. -- The Niles Fire Department responded to a house fire on Sunday where they pulled a woman and her dog from the second-floor window before flames destroyed most of the home. 

According to officials, a call came in at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, and within four minutes fire crews responded to 451 S. St. Joseph St. to find smoke and fire at the back of the house.

Family and neighbors outside the house told fire crews that a female victim was trapped on the second floor.

According to officials, fire crews deployed a ladder to the second story and were able to help the victim escape through a window.

"At that time the victim indicated there was also a dog in the same room," officials said. "Fire crews entered the second story window to find the dog and remove it down the ladder."

Fire officials say that due to the balloon frame construction of the house, fighting the fire on all floors was extremely difficult, and once the fire made it into the attic, all offensive operations from inside the home were changed to defensive fire control from outside.

The dry, windy weather conditions, along with blisteringly cold temperature played a factor in the incident as the first hydrant crews tried to use froze during operations.

"Quick thinking from fire fighters shuttled water from each apparatus on scene to continue fighting the fire until another hydrant 900 feet away could reestablish water supply," fire officials said. The fire was completely brought under control and fire units were released 3:30 a.m., Monday."

The fire appears to have been accidental, and SMCAS transported a male and female to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with burns and smoke inhalation.

The dog that was pulled from the fire seems to be doing well, and there were no injuries reported by any fire personnel on scene.

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