WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 16, 2011, 08:07 AM

Firefighters Spend All Day Sunday Fighting Vacant Mayville House Fire

Mayville, ND (WDAZ TV) - Firefighters in Mayville, ND, have spent over 13 hours trying to put out a house fire. And bitter cold temperatures are making it worse. The chief of the Mayville Fire Department says putting out the fire isn't the only thing his men have had to deal with. Now this fire they have been putting out all day is turning into the fire they'll fight all night.

By: Brady Mallory, WDAZ

"We've got shifts set up through nine o'clock tomorrow morning," Fire Chief Lee Brenna said Sunday night.

The fire was called in by a neighbor at about 8:20 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters haven't been able to stop house fire at 2nd st. and Fourth Avenue northeast. Brenna says the size of the house is one factor.

Another factor is the weather.

"It's so hard on the body. You work twice as hard and get half as much done," Captain Ross Johnson said.

Firefighters from Mayville, Hillsboro and Portland have been battling constant snowfall and lees then ten-degree weather.

"Your pump is frozen, your hose is frozen. Stuff freezes in the gutter. Just makes it miserable," Johnson said.

"This my second set of bunker gear today. They're freezing up to the point where you can't move anymore," Assistant Fire Chief Dale Fugleberg said.

The three-story house has been vacant for about eight years. Recently, new owners had been renovating it.

"I talked to him today. The thing he was most happy about was no one was hurt," neighbor Wayne Trudeau said.

"There isn't much left of the house now. It's a total loss," Fire Chief Brenna said.

Brenna says they are still investigating the cause of the fire.