Volunteers battle cold, wind to fight fire that destroys house on Cook Road, Byron
A mother and her adult son lost their home at 6123 Cook Road, Byron, on Monday after a fire erupted inside the residence at 7:10 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Byron and South Byron responded to the fire with mutual aid from Bergen, Stafford, Elba, and departments in Orleans and Monroe counties. The City's Fast Team also responded.
Byron Chief Robert Mruczek said the house was fully involved when he arrived on scene and he immediately called for a second alarm.
The firefighting effort was hampered by the cold and the wind. With slick roads and fire hydrants buried in snow, it was difficult to get water to the scene, Mruczek said. A metal roof also prevented firefighters from opening vents.
"We were trying to go to the inside to knock it down as fast as we possibly could," Mruczek said. "That was hampered due to the weather conditions for our water supply, so we started to attack from the outside and then the wind kicked up. The wind did not help us."
The weather conditions made it tough on the volunteers who responded to the fire, Mruczek. A school bus was set up to provide a rehab station. Firefighters are rotated from fighting the fire to rehab about every 20 or 30 minutes so they stay fresh, stay hydrated, and don't risk hypothermia.
"They work hard," Mruczek said. "You know, they do their thing. They're on the hose line. They're trying to get into the building and you've got to keep on rotating in and out because it's tiresome in the cold. You freeze up, the water freezes on you and you've got to exchange."
Both mother and son escaped the house and were physically unharmed. They are being cared for by the Salvation Army. They had no pets.
"It's unfortunate," Mruczek said. "It's sad. With the winter weather, these things happen and you try to do the best you can and you hope for the best. Fortunately, nobody got hurt. That's the good thing. Everybody's OK."