Crews battle fire, icy conditions on New Year’s Eve

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Residents of a three-story apartment building were forced out into the cold Sunday night when flames broke out inside the building.

The fire started around 9 p.m. in the 1545 Rodman Street building.

“We had approximately 40 firefighters to help fight this fire because of the extreme conditions,” Fall River Fire Chief John Lynch said.

The fight was made more difficult by the extreme cold, with sheets of ice forming almost instantly on cars, power lines, and firefighter’s equipment.

“At the point when the fire was well underway the wind added a lot to it and the extreme cold,” said Lynch. “We had a couple lines that froze on us, but overall the men did a great job.”

Power was knocked out to several homes on the surrounding streets and firefighters were on scene for 12 hours trying to extinguish the fire and deal with the dangerously icy conditions.

All residents were able to evacuate safely. Neighbor David Devine said the flames could be seen from blocks away.

“We were playing games and the power went out,” Devine said. “I look outside and you could see the flames, and I am five streets away, you could see the flames from my window.”