Gail Hives had to watch her house go up in flames Wednesday night.
“When I pulled up by the fire hydrant, they were fussing then about how they couldn’t get water and it was on low pressure,” says Hives.
Today, all that’s left is a pile of clothing and the frame of what used to be her home. District Fire Chief David Hale describes what his men faced when they got on scene.
“They came upon the hydrant that was closest to the house and realized that hydrant was not functioning properly to extinguish that house,” says Prichard District Fire Chief David Hale.
Neighbors tell us firemen first tried using this fire hydrant, it’s actually closest to the house, only about three doors down. Then we’re told firefighters tried this fire hydrant which is much farther away, all the way down the street and around the corner, on Oregon Street. Then finally, Hales tells us firemen were able to get water out of this hydrant, the only problem is, it’s three blocks down the road from the house.
That along with gallons of water supplied on their trucks let crews finally put the fire out. Officials met with a representative with the Prichard Water Board this morning.
“And he indicated there may have been a valve that was left off on that particular hydrant,” says Hale.
The fire department last inspected the hydrant in March, noting low water pressure then. They reported it to the Prichard Water Board who is in charge of maintaining them.
“The mayor has asked that we start our inspections early this year,” says Hale.
Hale says at the end of the day, he’s proud of his men.
“There were some exposures as you see on either side of the house and those exposures have no damage, and that stands to say they did an excellent job with what they were working with.”
The owner of the house has no insurance. Hale says he and the city of Prichard will help with any assistance she might need.