Firefighters Use Duck Hunting Trick to Put out Fire in Houston

Petr Svab


Two Arkansas firefighters came up with an ingenious strategy to put out a house fire in a flooded Houston neighborhood—a trick from duck hunting.

Arkadelphia firefighters Jason Hunt and Beau Bishop went to Houston last week to help their colleagues responding to the devastation left by Tropical Storm Harvey.

They were rescuing people with a boat when they saw a pillar of black smoke. “We dropped these the two people off from the boat and headed that way. Just followed the smoke basically,” Bishop told

They found a house on fire with Army reservists and a Houston firefighter standing nearby in waist-deep flood water.

Hunt and Bishop immediately went into action, working with the others on the fire.

“You would think that we had kind of been with that crew forever because it just went pretty seamless,” Bishop said.

Hunt took the fire hose intake and dived into the water to connect it to a fire hydrant. But the pressure was not enough.

Then an idea occurred to Hunt.

“Just an old duck hunter trick,” he said. “We'll pin our boats to a tree in the woods and [we would] blow the ice out using our boat motors so I thought it would be worth a try.”

In winter, as ducks wouldn’t stop at frozen ponds, duck hunters would use the jet engines on their boats to launch water over the surface of the pond to break up the ice.

Since the boat had a jet engine, using a water current to propel the boat, they just directed the nozzle at the house and let the engine do the dousing.

They took a video of the job and posted it on Facebook, where it garnered almost 2 million views.

Still, they said it was the rescues that stuck most in their minds.

Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
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