DENVER (CBS4) – The extreme cold makes it extremely difficult to fight fires, and after several fires broke out in the metro area on Tuesday, firefighters had to take extra precautions.

The warehouse fire on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

The warehouse fire on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

There’s now about 4 inches of ice on the ground outside a warehouse that caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Denver. Officials say the fire would have been a challenge on a warm night. But the bitter cold temperatures made it even more difficult to get the flames put out.

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For hours fire crews battled massive flames inside the warehouse near 38th Avenue and Revere Street and 39th and Peoria.

“We’re in our protective gear but it only helps so much,” Denver firefighter Randall Wells said.

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Wells says the gear keeps them warm, but once water gets on them in the freezing temperatures the protective clothing becomes stiff and makes it hard to maneuver. But the conditions are exactly what firefighters train for.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We train to be comfortable when it’s uncomfortable,” Wells said.

In some cases that’s easier said than done, and help is needed. The Regional Transportation District parked a bus on scene for crews to warm up in, while snow plows rolled through laying down de-icer to help keep them safe.

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Firefighters warm up in an RTD bus (credit: CBS)

Firefighters warm up in an RTD bus (credit: CBS)

“It helps a lot when the whole city can get together and work to make sure that the incident is safe and that everything gets accomplished in a timely manner,” Wells said. “We work together as a team, that’s what we do.”

In some cases the weather can also cause problems that are out of their control.

“Cold always has some challenges; our equipment has been breaking, freezing, malfunctioning,” Wells said.

A plow putting down de-icer around fire trucks (credit: CBS)

A plow putting down de-icer around fire trucks (credit: CBS)

At the end of the day Wells says there is only one priority outside of knocking down a fire.

“Make sure everybody goes home safe.”

The owner of the warehouse said the building was used to recycle carpeting and said the fire started near an outlet. Six people were inside at the time but made it out safely.

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On Tuesday morning Denver firefighters also battled a house fire on 13th Avenue and Arvada firefighters put a building fire out on Harlan Street.