Huge fire breaks out in Texas apartment building as fighters unable to get water from frozen hydrants

Stuti Mishra
·2 min read
<p>Smoke rises from a building on fire, in San Antonio, Texas, US February 18, 2021, in this still image taken from a social media video. </p> (JOHN ALBRIGHT via REUTERS)

Smoke rises from a building on fire, in San Antonio, Texas, US February 18, 2021, in this still image taken from a social media video.

(JOHN ALBRIGHT via REUTERS)

Firefighters in San Antonio struggled to control a fire in an apartment building as hydrants froze following a historic winter storm that led to sub-zero temperatures and power failure in Texas.

A fire broke at around 1 pm at a complex in Bexar county, local media reports stated, however, no deaths or injuries were reported. More than 80 residents were evacuated from the building, fire officials said.

According to a KSAT report quoting fire officials, residents received an alarm to turn off their water heater a few minutes before the fire erupted on the second floor.

However, when the firefighters arrived, all the fire hydrants in front of the building were unusable because of the extremely low temperature in Texas and around it.

“It already spread so major concern out here was frozen hydrants,” fire chief Jerry Bialick quoted by News4SA explained. “So, we have no water.”

The firefighters had to carry it in tenders and tankers and attempted to battle the blaze with limited water.

"Our problem is we get a little bit ahead and then the water runs out," Mr Bialick told a news crewNews4SA at the scene.

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Firefighters are planning to stay through the night having evacuated all nearby buildings.

“We’ll be here all night,” Mr Bialick said. “So, you know it’s gonna continue, we don’t have the fire stopped yet so we gotta, we gotta, we gotta stop this thing.”

Texas was left struggling in the dark after the massive a snowstorm hit the lone star state that led to extreme cold weather and power grid failure. Several areas also lacked drinking water as most sources have frozen. Residents in over 100 counties in Texas have been told to boil their drinking water as treatment plants continue to suffer from energy blackouts.

Energy reportedly remains out for 2.7 million households as authorities work at bringing electricity back which remains a slow process, as the state has lost 40% of its generating capacity, with natural gas wells and pipelines, along with wind turbines, frozen shut.

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