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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--In a fire, seconds mater. As snow builds around your house, fire crews are asking you to do a chore that could save your house and family.

“It’s been worse this year,” said Grand Forks resident, Bette Morstad.  

Clearing the driveway hasn’t been easy for Betty Morstad this year.

"More snow and we got the ice right away so it made it harder to clean up,” said Morstad.

Snow continues to build up and down her street -- and the nearest fire hydrant.

"I don't think a lot of them get cleaned around,” said Morstad.

It takes fire crews 3-5 minutes to get to your home. Once there-- it takes a fire crew less than a minute to get water flowing, but that's only if snow isn't blocking access.

Fire crews say it takes about three minutes to shovel snow from around a fire hydrant. That's time they say could be used to save your burning home.

"Dig out a three foot area around it. And also you know possibly from the sidewalk, maybe a path to it so that we can get at it easy,” said Fire Marshall Rod Freitag.

A path that could save your home.

"We're asking people to do this because it's impossible you know for the city to get them all out. They're busy moving snow,” said Freitag.

"If the snow is bad enough, yeah it just wouldn't be a good thing not to be able to get help,” said Morstad.

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