Residents concerned over lack of fire hydrants in local neighborhoods

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Akre family is working to recover after a fire destroyed their home Sunday afternoon.

Cindy Akres said in hindsight of the fire, there is something she wishes she and her family had known.

“One of the firemen knew that there had been a fire down here before and there wasn’t fire hydrants. But I don’t think any of us knew it,” Akres said.

Terre Haute’s fire chief, Jeff Fisher, said lack of fire hydrants in some area is common.

“There are places where it’s several blocks. Especially out on the east side. There’s several neighborhoods that lack even less fire hydrants,” Chief Fisher said.

According to the chief, when the department is sent to a fire dispatch tells them where the nearest hydrants are. He said fire crews also make sure to come prepared to areas that don’t have hydrants nearby.

“Our engine doesn’t run out of water, so we don’t have to worry about that. But while they’re fighting the fire the engine coming in will wrap the fire hydrant, pull up to it, hook up, and we’ll turn on the plug. So we’ll have that done in less than three minutes,” he said.

However, he said when it comes to the fore pm Shields Avenue, a hydrant would not have helped.

“It got such an advance on us that it wouldn’t have saved the house,” said Fisher

Cindy Akres says she hopes their loss can bring change.

“We sure don’t want this to happen to anybody else. And if there was fire hydrants down here and it could help anybody save anything, it would be well worth it,” she said.

A representative with Indiana American Water said hydrants are placed by developers and it is according to current industry standards. Water from fire hydrants come from the city’s system.

The Akre family home does not get its water from Terre Haute’s water system because they operate from a well.

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