With below zero temperatures, none of us want to be outside this Christmas eve, especially if water is involved. But dozens of local firefighters had to brave freezing temperatures to battle a house fire.
"Reality won't kick in til tomorrow when you wake up and you ain't got a house to live in." It'll be a blue Christmas this year for Larry Shearer, who lost almost everything after his house on North Wendorf Road in Monroe Center caught fire around 9:30 AM.
"I was at work my uncle called me, he's on the fire department and he said my address come across, smoke coming out of the garage," said Shearer.
With temperatures hovering around zero degrees, firefighters had an extra battle to fight, their water freezing.
The biggest thing is you gotta keep water moving so it doesn't freeze," said Monroe Township Fire Chief Scott Jaeger.
The frigid temperatures also posed a threat for the firefighters themselves.
"We got an ambulance here to get everybody in so it's warm. That's what we call rehab, get em some coffee, get em warmed up then send em back in."
Fire crews were able to save the home, but it does have smoke and water damage. Shearer says he's grateful he wasn't home, but his new puppy didn't make it out. "Your heart sinks."
Shearer says he'll stay with family and friends over the next few days, until he gets his house back in order.
"God puts detours in your life, you gotta just go around them and go ahead, you gotta stay positive."
Fire crews say a wood burner may have caused the fire, although an official cause hasn't been determined yet.
Fire Chief Jaeger says that's a common cause for fires around this time of year.