PARMA, OH (WOIO) - You can easily see the freshly charred remains of an apartment building along Rowland Avenue in
. Close to thirty were left homeless. Firefighters struggled to put out the blaze as they slipped on frozen ground and dealt with a fire hydrant that was covered in a shell of ice.
"The conditions are tough because the snow is thick and heavy, and it's cold. The water is freezing as it's coming out of the hose," said Doug Turner with the Parma Fire Department.
A fire hydrant covered in snow and ice just makes matters worse. That happened to Turner recently on the scene of a fire.
"I just dug it out with my hands real quick," said Turner.
His hands actually got bloody, "because there was a lot of frozen ice on top," added Turner.
Every second counts. That's why the Parma Fire Department is making a public plea for everyone to make sure fire hydrants are cleared.
"Just clear it out, and make it so it's visible so at least we can see the top of it," added Turner.
Jerry Pubal admits he hasn't thought much about the fire hydrant closest to his home.
"We have one right over there actually, right next door to us. I can't tell if it's cleared out because of the garbage cans. The neighbors usually keep them clean," said Pubal.
But even if the nearest fire hydrant isn't in front of your home, you may want to shovel it out for your own safety.
"That is still the hydrant that we are going to use. So, we would appreciate it if you can clear it, if you are physically able," said Turner.