LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Flames shot through the roof of a vacant home at Bourbon Avenue and Preston Highway around noon Tuesday. Investigators think homeless squatters were likely trying to stay warm inside and may have accidentally started the fire.

Thirty firefighters were forced to show up to battle the flames and the temperatures. It was 14 degrees. 

"It's already a difficult and challenging situation, and now we're dealing with extreme weather," said Capt. Salvador Melendez with the Louisville Fire Department.

Firefighters are already at high risk of heart attack. The stress from the weather only escalates it. But the men and women in uniform aren't the only people the weather is putting in danger when just walking on icy or snow-covered sidewalks can do that.

"We do see a lot of cold-weather-related injuries," Renee Cecil, ER Nurse Manager at Norton Audubon Hospital.

Emergency rooms across Louisville are seeing an influx of people coming in with broken bones or trauma from falls. Ice-related injuries are only second to the flu at Norton Audubon's emergency room. 

"If you do fall, and you're by yourself, it may take someone a while to get there," Cecil said.

Hypothermia can set in quick. For that reason, Cecil said you always have to be prepared when there's ice on the ground.

"You want to make sure that you have clothing that is going to be temperature controlled, maybe different layers," she said. "Protecting the hands, the feet, the head, keeping those areas warm."

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