Broken fire hydrants might put you at risk

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- When fire breaks out they answer the call. But what happens when firefighters show up and find a broken hydrant? "We can expect greater property damage, certainly a longer incident," said Chief Jerry Harnish of Rural Metro Fire Department.

Just ask William Stevens who has a broken hydrant smack in front of his house. "Oh yes, they should fix it. I hate to see anybody stuff get burnt up," said Stevens.

Firefighters get daily updates on which hydrants don't work. Williams is on the list. "We'd rather hook to a hydrant that we know is going to have the water, than hook to one that does not," said KFD spokesman D. J. Corcoran.

I hit the streets looking for broken hydrants, and it didn't take long to find some. As of Wednesday KFD confirms 20 hydrants are out of service.

So, could a non-working hydrant slow down the efforts to put a fire out? Yes it could," said Harnish, the Rural Metro fireman.

KUB is responsible for keeping hydrants in good condition. So, what are they doing about the problem?

"We try to make an effort to repair them within five days and get them back into service," said Wayne Loveday.

Said Stevens, "fix them. Yes, they need to be fixed." Of the 7,800 hydrants about 20 are under repair.

To report a broken hydrant call KUB at 865-524-2911.


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