Apparatus & Equipment, Firefighting

Steep Icy Roads Hamper Sevier County Firefighters

On Spicer Lane in Sevier County, fire crews navigated icy roads to reach a home fully engulfed in flames.  When they arrived, black smoke filled the air saturated with heavy white snow, reports

“The weather definitely affected response time, because you have to drive slower on these back roads on steep hills when there’s all of this snow and they haven’t been salted or scraped,” said Lt. Jessie Johnson with the Sevier County Volunteer Fire Department.

When crews arrived, they hit another obstacle too tough to climb.  The house was at the top of a hill at the end of a steep, narrow, winding driveway.

“They made it halfway up and realized how the driveway was sloped.  For their safety, they stopped where they did and came up with a different strategy,” said Johnson.

That strategy involved pulling more than 800 feet of fire-hose up a steep mountainside to reach the home.  Crews extracted water from a small pond at the base of the driveway, pumped it to a fire engine, which was strong enough to send it uphill to another fire truck, which finally relayed the water with enough force to reach the burning home.

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