Frozen hydrants stop Texas firefighters from putting out huge apartment blaze.

The severe winter storm engulfing Texas and nearby states has left several million households without power. Desperate residents turned to dangerous butane gas fires to heat their homes in the freeze.

A spat of residential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning has plagued the disaster-ridden US state. Nearly two dozen deaths have been attributed to the cold snap.

Firefighters trying to put out a massive fire that broke out at an apartment building in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday struggled as they had to truck in water because hydrants were frozen due to a ferocious winter storm and cold snap, a fire chief said.

"There's a hydrant right in front of the building and it's frozen stiff and none of the hydrants out here work and they're all frozen. So, we're having to shuttle the water in for quite a distance," said Bexar Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Bialick.

As of Thursday afternoon, 797 public water systems were reporting service disruptions, affecting 13.2 million people, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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