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Fire destroys Northglenn home

No one was injured in the fire that displaced a family on Thursday morning.

NORTHGLENN, Colo. — Five people escaped safely when a fire ripped through a home in Northglenn on Thursday morning.

North Metro Fire Rescue (NMFR) said the fire, which occurred near West 103rd Avenue and North Pecos Street, was called in just after 9 a.m. The fire spread quickly, and fire crews had to take a defensive position for firefighters' safety due to the home potentially collapsing, NMFR said.

The extreme cold also presented challenges for crews fighting the blaze, officials said. Photos released by NMFR showed frost forming on firefighters' hoses.

No one was injured in the fire, and fire crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring homes, officials said.

"It's been a horrible day for that family losing everything," said Capt. Ross Riley, emergency manager for NMFR. "It's been a challenging day for us dealing with this bitter cold."

Below-zero temperatures make fighting a fire a lot more difficult.

"We had one fire truck that some of the valves froze up. By the time they got on scene, hose lines freeze up," said Riley. "The masks that we wear when we go into fires, those respirators were freezing up."

Firefighters were inside the home, knocking down the fire when the floors started to collapse. Riley said crews got out safely, but had to continue the fight from outside with the ladder truck spraying water from above. 

Credit: 9NEWS - Austyn Knox

"If we hadn't had all of those challenges... we possibly could've saved more of the house," said Riley. "Unfortunately with the floors falling in, the fire was able to just burn through the roof."

He said they typically need around 18-20 people to fight a fire. On Thursday, they needed closer to 30. That's because crews need to be rotated more frequently to warm up.

"We have safety people that are just watching the crews to make sure that nobody was getting frostbite or any exposed skin," said Riley. "They just continually circle the building, checking in with the crews, making sure they're okay."

He said 911 callers described hearing an explosion in the garage, but the cause of the fire is still being investigated. 

Credit: 9NEWS - Austyn Knox

Riley is hopeful the community will come together to help this family who lost their home, get back on their feet. The Red Cross will also be assisting. 

"Anytime of the year this happens to people and they lose everything, it is just so hard to recover from," he said. 

Thornton Fire, Westminster Fire, Adams County Fire and Federal Heights Fire all responded to help extinguish the fire.

Around this time of year, Captain Riley said they usually get a couple fires caused by space heaters or candles. So to be safe, he suggests putting a dinner plate underneath candles and to make sure you're using the right size extension cord for space heaters.  



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