Residents demand hydrants after fire destroys home - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Residents demand hydrants after fire destroys home

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BLOOMINGDALE, GA (WTOC) -

Concerns from residents in one Savannah neighborhood after a fire rips through a home over the weekend.

That home, sitting in a neighborhood that does not have any fire hydrants, and it's not sitting well with some of the people living there.

WTOC has followed up with Chatham County Commissioner Dean Kicklighter, County Manager Lee Smith and Southside Fire officials to see what can be done for residents of unincorporated Chatham County who live in areas that have sparse fire hydrant access.

And so has Hollow Oak Drive resident Anne Horn.

"My next step is to follow up with Dean, and the fire chief and the county commissioners. Hopefully I can get all them to help me push with this private water company, to, let's please get fire hydrants out here,” said Horne.

Horn believes having fire hydrants nearby would help firefighters fight blazes, like the one that destroyed her neighbor’s house this past Saturday night, more quickly and efficiently. A battalion chief with Southside Fire agrees.

"Hydrants in the area would be the answer. Having a positive water source is the better answer,” said SSFD Battalion Chief Frank Pilcher.

But often times in rural areas especially, the fire department is forced to shuttle water in, like they did this weekend when fire hydrants are out of reach. WTOC did speak to Water Utility Management COO Tony Daguillo, and he said they are willing to work with residents and the county to find solutions to any issues, but added the water distribution system on Hollow Oak is decades old, it's source a single well. 
And overhauling the system to support hydrants might not be the most cost-effective solution for the families in that area.


Southside Fire officials say they have had the conversation with the County Commission, and Water Utility Management, on improving hydrant coverage in the county, but they also need the residents to step up.

Southside Fire officials say they have had the conversation with the County Commission, and Water Utility Management, on improving hydrant coverage in the county, but they also need the residents to step up.

"To help us, we do need to get the citizens involved, to just express that they need this and they want this to happen. Because it's going to take an investment from the county and from Water Utility Management as well,” said Pilcher.

Commissioner Kicklighter did send an email to previous commission leaders back in 2010 following a house fire on Hollow Oak Drive, addressing the same issue of no hydrants. He forwarded that email to County Manager Lee Smith on Monday morning, to get the conversation going again.

In the mean time, Horn is gathering clothes for her neighbors who lost their home in the fire. They are in need of men's size 33x30 pants, large shirts and size 11 shoes. Women's size one pants, size 5 shirts and size 7 shoes.

Horn can be contacted at 912-412-8282.

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