Single-digit temperatures have bore down on the Midwest for the last few days, and first responders in Chicago recently had to brave the frigid weather to battle one of the biggest fires in recent memory. The enormous blaze, which started on Wednesday in a warehouse in the Bridgeport section of the city, required more than 200 firefighters to get under control, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Fire officials in Chicago say the blaze was the worst they had seen in seven years, and it was compounded by the near-zero temperatures. Firefighters had to contend with frozen hydrants and ladders that were encased in ice, obstacles they don’t often have to consider. By the time the fire was under control, the warehouse, as well as several trucks parked alongside the road, was covered in ice. Though the fire resulted in some beautiful photo opportunities, they don’t accurately portray how much of a struggle it was for firefighters to contain.
“Everything is wood inside these buildings, beautiful facades on the outside,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago told the newspaper. “They’ve been up for a long time. When they start burning like this, they start coming down.”
While the cold temperatures surely were an unexpected challenge for Chicago’s bravest, working in the Windy City has likely prepared them for anything.