Local News

Planning Board Calls Hydrants a Necessity in Mobile Home Parks

Posted November 15, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— In the suburbs, fire hydrants are plentiful. In rural areas, they are few and far between. Add in the perceived safety risks of mobile homes and you could have a deadly mix. There is a solution, but it comes at a price.

Local firefighters say they're having trouble at some of the older mobile home parks in Wayne County. The planning board says it's time to push for higher standards in many neighborhoods. One thing being pushed is a requirement for a fire hydrant in every mobile home park with five or more units. They want the land owners to flip the bill.

Firefighters support the measure. They say they need all the help they can get for their critical work.

Like all of us, L.H. Gelverton wants to protect his home from fire. But he has an extra challenge. Gelverton lives in an older mobile home. The closest fire hydrant is more than 500 yards away.

Firefighters want to make protecting homes easier. The local firefighters association supports a proposal requiring fire hydrants in mobile home parks with five or more units. Tanker trucks can usually do the job on its own, but crews say the back-up a hydrant provides is crucial.

Chief James Bradshaw of the Fremont Fire Department says the first four to six minutes at a fire scene is critical. In that time, Bradshaw says, you can determine what if anything will be saved.

Land owner Nellie Langston supports the idea of more hydrants and fire protection, but doesn't like the idea of paying at least $1500 to hook it up.

"If they want to help flip the bill, I'll half it," Langston says. "Otherwise, I just can't do it."

Supporters say it's only fair that land owners pay the bill for a hookup that can take minutes off a life-saving mission.

The measure isn't a done deal yet. Although the planning board has signed off on the idea, it not must go to the Wayne County Board of Health. If the Board of Health approves the measure, it would then go to county commissioners who would call on a public vote.