KENTWOOD, Mich. – It took Kentwood firefighters more than an hour to get a CVS Pharmacy fire under control.
The fire started shortly before 6:00 pm on Tuesday. The nearest fire house is less than a block away meaning crews were at the scene within seconds of the alarm sounding.
Kentwood Deputy Fire Chief Greg Ginebaugh said, “The fire station is right there and as soon as they pulled out, they could smell smoke.”
The location of the fire was the first obstacle according to Ginebaugh, “The pharmacy has more secure doors on the outside so we cant’ access the pharmacy from the the outside, we have to go from the inside.”
All the while they were also battling the elements.
“We have to rotate more people through because of the temperatures. And we have equipment problems with air bottles that freeze up and all those hose lines have to have a crack open so they don’t freeze as well,” he said.
While some problems hamper their ability to fight the fire, other problems can put their lives in danger.
“Moisture forms on the valves and regulators and then they freeze and that makes it difficult for air to pass through the regulators,” he said.
In addition to equipment problems firefighters would rotate shifts getting warm in nearby vehicles or businesses while other crews took turns fighting the fire.
Everyone got out safely and no firefighters were hurt.