DSC 0002The Bethel Township Fire Department of Clark County was forced to call in mutual aid from three other departments as they battled a fully-engulfed house fire in Crystal Lakes early Monday morning. Crews said the fire itself was difficult to contain, and the added single-digit temperatures and fierce winds combined to make the situation even more troublesome.

Bethel Township Captain Felix Shanahan said his crews were called to Lakeshore Drive around 3:30 a.m. Monday for a report of smoke in the area and a possible house fire. Shanahan said they arrived to find the home fully-engulfed.

He said no one was inside the home, as it appeared to be an unoccupied dwelling, noting that the only people who could have been inside would have been there illegally. The blaze has been turned over to the State Fire Marshal’s Bureau, but as of press time, Shanahan said he did not know what the bureau planned to do with the case.

Shanahan said the fire itself was “persistent” and difficult to knock down, forcing them to call in mutual aid from Bethel Miami crews, Pike Township, and the New Carlisle Fire Division. He said the tenacious fire was problematic enough, but crews encountered other issues as they attempted to contain the blaze in single-digit temperatures combined with steady blowing winds.

He said firefighters struggled to keep their hose streams clear and prevent their pumps from icing as they spent nearly three hours battling the blaze. Firefighters from Bethel Township reported that they had icicles forming on the bottom of their turnout gear as they fought the fire, struggling to stay mobile despite the frigid wind chills.

Shanahan said the ambient temperature was around eight degrees as they fought the fire, with the real temperature even colder once the wind chill was factored in.

The New Carlisle News will provide updates on this story as they become available.

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