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Crews respond to fire at Grand Rapids-area CVS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The deep freeze that swept across west Michigan impacted firefighting efforts at a CVS in Kentwood Tuesday night.
The fire broke out after 5:30 p.m. at the store on Eastern Avenue, and drew attention from miles around.
"The smoke was just pouring out, and at times you couldn't even see the intersection because the smoke was so thick," said eyewitness Julie Mieras.
Kentwood Fire officials responded in minutes, but weather added precious seconds to their efforts.
"We have equipment problems that happen with air bottles that freeze, and all of our hoses have to have nozzles cracked open so they don't freeze as well," said Kentwood Deputy Fire Chief Gregg Ginebaugh.
The deputy chief says in some cases, problems are life-threatening, when it affects firefighters' oxygen tanks.
It's one of the many reasons that sub-zero temperatures require extra bodies to fight a fire like the one that erupted Tuesday.
"We've had Cutlerville here, Grand Rapids is here, we're bringing in an off-duty shift so we can get people who have been here for a while into some warm air and let fresh people do some more work," Ginebaugh said.