Firefighters respond to house fire, need to bring snow plows with them

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Frederick County firefighters responded to a fire that broke out in the 14500-block of Tower Road in Smithsburg on Wednesday night. Neighbors said seeing the aftermath of the fire is sobering.

“They lost all they had and stuff, all the antiques and stuff, and all the clothes they got for Christmas,” neighbor, Jodie Thomas said.

Fire crews said it was a challenge just getting to the fire with all the black ice and three feet of snow outside, so they teamed up with snow plows from Frederick County Highway Operations to get the job done safely.

“They do provide additional salt, sand and other materials to help make the scene safe for our personnel and the public,” Chip Jewell with Frederick County Fire and Rescue said.

Jewell said firefighters train for extreme conditions like this, and with water from their hoses freezing as they battled the fire, they said this definitely qualifies as such.

“Every driver is required in Frederick County to have an emergency vehicle operator class so they’re given instructions and provided guidance on not only how to drive on a dry road, but wet roads and under the unusual weather conditions,” Jewell said.

Fire units from Frederick, Washington and Franklin counties were dispatched around 9:30 on Wednesday night. It took about an hour to contain the blaze.

Firefighters said the family was able to get out safely and the local Red Cross is helping them cope with their loss.

Neighbors said seeing such devastating damage hits close to home.

“It could happen to anybody, could happen any time of the day or night and thankful that the fire trucks could get back here,” Thomas said.

Jewell estimates the fire caused about $150,000 in damages to the home.

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