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City addresses lack of fire hydrants after deadly fire

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 11:31 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Fire Department faced several obstacles battling the deadly fire on Hawk Cove Friday, May 6.

The biggest issue is the lack of fire hydrants on the street, as it caused delays in putting out the large flames.

“The decision was made to run a relay system to the closest hydrant the guys had found,” Jonesboro Assistant Fire Chief Marty Hamrick said.

Hamrick said firefighters did that instead of calling for backup from the Philadelphia Fire Department, as there would have been a “little bit of delay there to get to the station” and “get their rigs” since they are a volunteer fire department.

Hamrick added that first responders used a GPS to locate the closest hydrant, several hundred feet away from the scene.

The assistant fire chief mentioned that Jonesboro City Water & Light owned the fire hydrants, saying he brought up “the options of moving something closer into that area.”

CWL Energy Marketing Administrator Slade Mitchell said the area of town where Hawk Cove is located was annexed at least two decades ago.

“We accept the annexed area with the infrastructure that it has,” Mitchell said.

However, this does not stop CWL from upgrading the water system and adding another fire hydrant.

Mitchell added the people living on the street would have to agree to add another fire hydrant because it would cause extra money on their fire protection costs.

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