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Frozen hydrants challenge Texas firefighters battling blaze at San Antonio-area apartment

Frozen hydrants challenge Texas firefighters battling blaze at San Antonio-area apartment

Firefighters near San Antonio had to truck in water Thursday to battle a blaze that devastated an apartment building because hydrants were frozen, a f

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Firefighters near San Antonio had to truck in water Thursday to battle a blaze that devastated an apartment building because hydrants were frozen, a fire chief said.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out about 1 p.m. between the flooring of an apartment building off TPC Parkway just outside the city, Bexar Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Bialick said. More than 80 people were displaced, a Red Cross spokesman said.

When crews arrived, the fire hydrant in front of the building, and others around it, were unusable because of the freezing weather and severe winter conditions in San Antonio and the rest of the state.

“Our problem is we get a little bit ahead and then the water runs out,” Bialick told a news crew from NBC affiliate WOAI at the scene.

Bialick said that water tenders — which are trucks that carry water — had been sent from across the region to help. The trucks were carrying between 2,000 and 3,000 gallons of water, he said, but that can be exhausted in a few minutes.

Video from the scene showed firefighters using ladder trucks to spray the blaze from above. Pieces of what appeared to be the roof and other sections collapsed.

Feb. 18, 202101:25

A cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

The fire chief expected crews to be on the scene on all night. The residents in neighboring buildings were also told to leave as a precaution.

A spokesman for the Red Cross said that 32 units were affected, and 87 people have been displaced. They were assisting with supplies and in helping the displaced find shelter.

Following the winter storm and freezing temperatures that hit the state, around 4 million customers lost power in blackouts, but Residents told WOAI that there was electricity at the apartment complex.

By Thursday night, the number of customers without power was down to around 284,000, according to tracking website poweroutage.us.

Another frigid night was in store for San Antonio, with a low of 21 degrees forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

It won’t be until Saturday when temperatures for San Antonio and other parts of the state are forecast to remain above freezing at night.

There have been at least 37 deaths in eight states in which the winter weather and freezing temperatures have been called a factor or the cause.

Most of those were in Texas, where 21 people died, including from car crashes and two deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in a Houston home that had been using a car for warmth because there was no heat.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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