Charlotte Fire fights hydrant shortages

A worst-case scenario for Charlotte firefighters: a house goes up in flames and there are no fire hydrants nearby.

CHARLOTTE -- Two people and a wedding photo made it out of a burning Charlotte house as large flames engulfed the home Wednesday.

More than 30 firefighters responded, working tirelessly to get it under control.

It was a tough task made more difficult, because firefighters had to bring in a tanker.

“This is actually a little bit of a challenge for the fire department because there are no fire hydrants in this area,” said Chief Fire Marshal Ted Panagiotopoulos.

This problem isn’t new to the Charlotte area.

Back in 2012, firefighters rushed to a house fire, just to find that the nearest fire hydrant wasn’t even there.

It had been reported out of service months before.

And then it happened again.

A Dilworth apartment caught fire, the closest working fire hydrant turned out to not be very close at all.

“You just assume your house is going to be there when you come home,” said the man who lived there.

NBC Charlotte launched an investigation into faulty hydrants earlier this year.

Charlotte Fire said of 16,000 fire hydrants citywide, just a few dozen are broken on any given day.

Any hydrant identified as "high need" will be fixed within 24 hours, others could take up to 16 days.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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