Local News

Lack Of Fire Hydrants Causes Problem In Johnston Neighborhood

Posted January 28, 2005 4:40 a.m. EST

— When you think about counties growing too fast for their own good, much of the focus is on schools and roads. But it also puts a strain on firefighters, not just because there are more homes, but also because there are fewer hydrants.

The owners of a Clayton home returned from dinner to find flames and firefighters everywhere. The fire destroyed the home and everything inside.

"With the condition of the house when we got there, it was a challenge to put it out," said Clayton Fire Chief Lee Barbee.

What made the fire especially difficult was there were no fire hydrants in the neighborhood. Firefighters trucked all the water in with tankers.

"I don't think it would have made any difference in this case at all," said Johnston County Fire Marshal Paul Whitehurst.

Firefighters called in six departments from two counties to help.

"We never ran out of water. It was just a challenge to get it all set up and keep the shuttle running," Barbee said.

"It was a little scary. The realization that we didn't have fire hydrants in the subdivision, which was something I knew when I moved in, but you don't give a lot of thought to it until it happens in your subdivision," neighbor Susan Sykes said.

Whitehurst said crews are well-trained to truck in water because there are many rural areas.

"It does make it tougher. Obviously, it's better if you do have a hydrant in the area," he said.

Because of the fire, some concerned neighbors have already said they would like to see fire hydrants added to the neighborhood.