COVINGTON — Newton County Fire Service firefighters braved the cold temperatures Monday morning to fight a fire on Hemlock Street in Porterdale.

According to Assistant Chief Tim Smith, a call came from 14 Hemlock St. in Porterdale about 9:15 a.m.

"The fire began in the laundry room in the area of the dryer," Smith said. "It appears to have been an accidental fire."

Smith said residents were able to escape with no injuries, but the interior of the home was a total loss. He estimated the loss to be around $90,000, with $75,000 for the house and $15,000 for the contents.

He said firefighters had to be careful as they began their cleanup as water used to fight the fire began freezing.

"The temperatures really didn't hamper us fighting the fire, but we had to be extra careful because water began to freeze on a deck around back where we were walking. When it hit the surface, it froze within a matter of minutes," Smith said, adding that he checked ground temperature in the area Monday and found it to be 34 degrees.

He said even though the cold temperatures did not contribute to this fire, the NCFS is urging residents to be cautious, especially when using auxiliary heating.

"We're asking everyone to be extra careful right now, especially with space heaters or using a fireplace for warming the house," Smith said. "It looks like it's going to continue to be cold at night, and we're asking people to use extra caution."