Flames Lead to Neighborhood Fear
Neighborhood Wonders if Fire Hydrants are Effective
An early morning fire has left a local family homeless. It all started around midnight near F 3/4 and 30 1/2 roads.
A family was in the home at the time but no one was hurt. The house is a total loss and the Clifton Fire Department says the cause is still under investigation.
Now that a family has lost everything neighbors worry it could happen to them.
The neighborhood's fire hydrant is right across the street from the home. But one look at it and you'll see it's a lot smaller than your typical hydrant. And according to Clifton's Fire Department it's water pressure is less than ideal.
"You know, the cops showed up probably first and said, you know, get ready to evacuate. The wind was blowing," says F 3/4 road resident Chastity Lambert.
After a scary night for one neighborhood, it's residents are now concerned about their safety.
"Because the fire hydrant we have down at the corner is a very small fire hydrant," says Lambert.
The Clifton Water District says the hydrant puts out 250 gallons per minute; compared to a more suburban hydrant that sprays water over a thousand gallons per minute.
Because the fire hydrant near the incident puts out less water pressure, fire crews had to hook up an additional hose to a hydrant more than one thousand feet away from the home.
According to some neighbors, like Spencer Buda, this hasn't been their first concern with the hydrant.
"Actually they didn't even have a fire hydrant there until March when they got it repaired. Because it'd been broken for two years," says Buda.
He says there's been talks of expanding the water line. A project that's now more important in his eyes.
"We knew if the wind turned around it'd come towards us," says Buda.
The fire has left a home in ashes and Buda wondering, what if?
"You don't really think about it happening to you. I mean it didn't happen to us. But it's so close it's kind of like a reminder that it could," says Buda.
The Clifton Fire Department says the hydrant didn't affect what they could save. But they're recommending the Clifton Water Department put in more hydrants.
The Clifton Water District says their primary concern is providing clean water for you to use, not water for adequate fire protection.
When they get a recommendation from the fire department they start an evaluation process. They see if there's going to be a greater need for water in that area in the future.
If they see more homes are to be built they'll put in bigger piping. The larger tubes means more water and more pressure for fire hydrants.
But if it doesn't look like their will be enough homes to pay for the expansion, they'll go to the home owners.
"How important to those residents in that area is, really, to be able to provide fire protection. and maybe even pay those assessments that may have to come forward to help pay for that water line for fire protection," says Clifton Water District General Manager, Dale Tooker.
After last nights fire, the Clifton Water Department has begun their evaluation process. For the people who live in that neighborhood, the water company says they may be hearing from them in the coming months.
If you want to know how effective your fire hydrant is on your street, you can call your water company. The Clifton Fire Department says the best pressure is over a thousand gallons per minute.
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