Monmouth Home Destroyed by Fire - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Monmouth Home Destroyed by Fire

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A Monmouth family was able to escape safely Tuesday morning after a house fire that was difficult for firefighters to put out. Firefighters were called to a home in the 200 block of West Franklin in Monmouth just before 8:00 am. Firefighters say when they got the call the fire was in the bathroom, but because of strong winds, it quickly spread to the attic and walls, engulfing the whole house.

"It's really frustrating because when you pull up and you don't have a lot of fire and a lot of smoke showing, it is something we should get knocked down quickly, and then when the wind starts playing into it and the cold weather, it is just something you can't overcome," said Pat Spears, Monmouth Assistant Fire Chief.

Spears says the wind was the first among many problems.

"This part of town right here where we are at, we had low water supply for the hydrant system, so we ended up using a tender operation," Spears said.

 A tender operation is where crews use a tanker truck to bring in water.

"One of our engines froze up, the pump froze, so we had to switch out an engine. That took a little bit of time which allowed the fire to progress even more."

Spears says on top of having to truck in water and a frozen pump, firefighters radios and gear were freezing up as well. He says that's why mutual aid from Roseville, Kirkwood, Cameron and Galesburg was called in to help.

"Trying to rotate people, keep them fresh and keep them warm. We had a couple trucks with a heater set up so when guys started freezing up and getting cold they can go get warmed up for a while."

The cold weather also caused a ladder truck to get stuck and a backhoe was used to pull it out. Firefighters say dealing with the weather conditions is just part of the job, and despite the problems they encountered, everybody did their best.

"Weather is something you can't fight."

Spears says considering the damage, the family is in good spirits. He says they do have insurance and the Red Cross is helping them as well.