Firehouse copes with the cold weather

(WXYZ) - The cold is causing problems for at least one Detroit firehouse by freezing their hoses when they go out to fire but the fire house cannot thaw them out in time for the next fire because their bays where the trucks are parked have no heat.

When 7 Action News heard about the problem and went to the fire house and started asking questions, later that night a repair crew from the city showed up to try and fix the boiler.

The boiler to Engine 40 blew out a few months ago.  The City of Detroit came out and tried to fix the boiler, but it never ran the same and now it does not do a decent job of heating the bays and the firehouse where the firefighters work out of and sleep. 

The combination of the boiler not working properly and the arctic temperatures mean water hoses are not thawing out.  So when the hoses get frozen out at a scene, and the hoses cannot be thawed out back at the fire house. 

When 7 Action News showed up at the fire house Tuesday night, a turbo heater was in the bay trying to thaw out the trucks.  Shortly after we arrived Engine 40 got a call to respond to a fire but their truck with the hoses was not there because the firefighters had taken the truck to the Highland Park Fire Department 10 minutes away to thaw out in their bays. 

When the call went out, the Detroit firefighters took their truck from Highland Park to the Detroit fire, but when they got there their hoses were still frozen because they had not had enough time to thaw out in Highland Park.  Luckily this time the fire was a false alarm.  We are told that the way the Detroit system works other trucks would cover that fire, but if Engine 40 had gotten a second call they might have been in trouble.

Sources in the fire department tell 7 Action News that the boiler problem has been an ongoing issue for weeks and the city knows about it but has not come out to fix the problem.

A spokesperson from the city, John Roach, tells 7 Action News that the city knows about the boiler problem and  that the Detroit Building Authority has been making improvements.  Roach said the boiler would have to be replaced, but until that could happen they were bringing in extra turbo heaters for Engine 40 and the city sent over a repair crew.

Roach did not give a timeline for when the station would get a new boiler.

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