KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After losing two houses to fires in their neighborhood, because there wasn't an immediate water source, dozens of members of one Cedar Bluff subdivision helped "christen" two new fire hydrants Saturday.
Tracy Gregory was happy to see the hydrants. She watched her neighbor's home burn to the ground three months ago.
"I went to my backyard and saw embers flying up and wondered where the fire department was. I knew they were here but I couldn't understand why there wasn't any water, " she remembered.
There was no water because there weren't any nearby fire hydrants. The closest water source was thousands of feet away. Firefighters had to truck water into the Gulfwood subdivision on a tanker, losing precious time and ultimately the entire house.
"We were really concerned when we found out our neighborhood didn't have fire hydrants."
That's why Judy Ahrens helped galvanize the neighborhood into change, raising $8,700 for two new hydrants. Using a six inch water main running up the main street, the hydrants provide close enough water sources for all 174 houses. And reassurance for the people who live there.
"I know that if anything happens in our home, they'll be there quickly, which they were, but also that we will have water quickly."
It only took the neighborhood about three months to raise the cash.
Donations made up the bulk of the hydrant fund. Rural Metro kicked in $250 and the neighborhood association provided the rest.