Local bar helps firefighters warm up after battling house fire in icy conditions

(Photos couresty of Brayton Ave Cafe)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — One local bar took in members of the Fall River Fire Department on New Year’s Eve after they faced a long battle with a house fire on Rodman Street.

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

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

Just down the street, Brayton Ave Cafe was preparing for one of the biggest nights of the year.

“I stepped outside and we saw the fire and you could tell it was not going to be good,” Brayton Ave Cafe owner Erik Camara said.

The local bar was prepared with a band, food and prizes for a New Year’s Eve celebration, but it was cut short when the power went out around 10 p.m.

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

Camara said he eventually saw two firefighters huddled outside the door of the bar and decided to invite them inside.

“They came in and were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so warm,'” Camara said. “Right there, then it hit me, they are frozen solid.”

What started with two firefighters turned into a least two dozen all helping the local bar go into the new year with a feeling of appreciation.

“We actually had one of the firefighters count down the ’10, 9,’ for us, and he rang in the new year for us, and a big cheer and everyone got a kick out of it, it was a very memorable new year,” Camara said.