Bitter cold hampers firefighting effort in Germantown

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Sunday, February 15, 2015
VIDEO: High winds fan Germantown blaze
A working smoke detector alerted 7 people inside the home in the 300 block of Berkeley Street, where the fire started.

GERMANTOWN (WPVI) -- Bitterly cold weather hampered efforts to fight a house fire early Sunday morning in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

The blaze was reported at 12:50 a.m. Sunday.

Crews arrived to find flames shooting from the basement and first floor of a 2-story row home in the 300 block of Berkley Street.

Ice quickly caked on one of the hoses the firefighters were using, and on the firefighters' uniforms.

Powerful wind gusts fanned the flames. At one point a fire hose broke, shooting water into the already-slick street.

Fire officials tell Action News a working smoke detector alerted 7 people inside the home, and all were able to make it out safely.

The American Red Cross is assisting all of them.

A neighboring home was also damaged.

Fire investigators are working to determine what sparked the blaze.