Age-damaged hydrant slows response to North Augusta fire

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

August 12, 2006

A family of eight is safe after their home was destroyed by fire.

It happened at 1151 Weston Street, off Old Edgefield Road in North Augusta.

All fire scenes can be hectic and this one was no different, but added to that was a hydrant that was causing headaches.

Kelly Jenkins watched as the back end of her neighbor's house was destroyed.

"I heard a loud boom in the kitchen, when I was in the kitchen. And that's all I heard," she says.

North Augusta Public Safety responded within minutes, but crews arrived to a not-so-cooperative hydrant.

The men struggled to connect the truck's water hose to the nearest hydrant across the street.

Officer David Harris blames brass threads. He says they often tend to wear out with age.

"Tried to hook up this five-inch hose, which would give us more water, and eventually we had to go to another hydrant," he explains.

The five-inch hose was preferable because it can carry more water than its three-inch counterpart.

"Yeah, we've already put in a repair for it," Officer Harris says.

The ordeal may have lasted only a matter of minutes, but in emergencies, minutes matter.

"Nobody was inside. The homeowner was here when it started and they were all able to get out without incident," says Lt. Clay Swann.

"I'm glad the firefighters responded on time and everybody got out," Jenkins says. "I'm glad everybody got out."

The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, the homeowner tells News 12 there was no smoke or fire alarm anywhere in the house.

The mother of seven plans on asking her landlord why that is.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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