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Firefighters Battle Wind, Cold At House Fire In Nahant

NAHANT (CBS) - At a massive house fire in Nahant on New Year's Day, firefighters were coated in ice.

There were people inside of the home at the time of the fire, but luckily, they were able to evacuate before fire crews arrived. As for firefighters, weather was not on their side.

"The firemen kept on going, they kept on going," said neighbor Stephen Maclone. "It was wild."

Firefighter at Nahant house fire on New Year's Day (WBZ-TV)

The cold. The wind. The water. Firefighters in Nahant braved the elements battling the house fire on Wilson Road.

"Heavy fire conditions on the upper levels of the house. We went to three alarms," said Nahant Fire Chief Michael Feinberg.

Chief Feinberg says the fire broke out around 1:00 p.m. The people who lived in the home all made it out safely.

The wind from the ocean made matters worse, fanning the flames and freezing the water from the hydrants.

Nahant fire
Firefighters at Nahant house fire on New Year's Day (WBZ-TV)

"The water freezes on our equipment, on our air packs and on our masks," Feinberg said.

Crews spent several hours in the frigid temperatures battling hot spots. Firefighters had a thick layer of ice on their helmet and gear. They rotated shifts thawing out in a rehabilitation unit.

"Just make sure that everybody has a chance to stay warm. Plus, this ice gives us an extra layer of insulation," Feinberg said.

The homeowners didn't want to speak on camera, but they tell WBZ-TV's Tiffany Chan they're grateful to be alive. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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