Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Indianapolis Firefighters Fight Fire With Another Faulty Fire Hydrant

A man died in a fire in the 2300 block of North Dearborn tonight. WRTV is reporting that Indianapolis firefighters encountered at least one nearby fire hydrant that was frozen over while trying to fight the blaze. On Sunday night, the Texas Roadhouse restaurant on North Shadeland Avenue, also the City's eastside, burned to the ground when firefighters encountered three inoperable fire hydrants. The City that works? Not hardly.

UPDATE: WISH-TV reports another business being lost to fire on East Michigan Street tonight. Again, firefighters' efforts at fighting the blaze were hampered when they encountered inoperable fire hydrants. This is what happens when your city leaders are more interested in the kickbacks from pinstripe patronage occasioned by the privatization of the water utility than serving the public's interest.

UPDATE II: Check out what the LA Times reported on our City's contract with Veolia back in 2006: "Indianapolis reached a $1.5-billion, 20-year agreement with Veolia to run the city's waterworks in 2002. The contract is the largest of its kind in North America.
Within the first year, customer complaints nearly tripled and the company admitted mailing more than 15,000 incorrect bills. Inadequate maintenance caused hundreds of fire hydrants to freeze, hampering efforts to put out fires that consumed a church and other buildings." Hat tip to Downtown Indy.

10 comments:

Indy Pendant said...

Frozen hydrants on the eastside really is a non-issue, that is until it strikes in Woodruff Place or Irvington. For more than 30 years no one has cared about the east side: not the politicians nor even the residents. After all, just look at the responses on this blog to the issue. The residents there are all talk and inaction.

Only until a fire sweeps through a Meridian Kessler home or Butler Tarkington church or business and the hydrants are non-working, only then will the city respond and it'll likely be too late.

Bring back Indianapolis Water Co. and dump Viola, another example where privatization is nothing more than piratization.

M.D. said...

This has nothing to do with the water company. Rather, it has everything to do with the management of the fire department, and prioritization of testing hydrants on a regular basis. Yes, this costs money. It saves lives, too.

Advance Indiana said...

Sorry, M.D., the fire department is not responsible for maintaining the fire hydrants. That's the responsibility of Veolia under its contract with the city-owned utility.

Downtown Indy said...

It makes me wonder if inspections are really being done or if they are just falsifying paperwork.

When Veolia first took over in 2002, there was a spate of frozen hydrants - 'hundreds' according to this article:

LA Times article from 2006

Apparently that didn't trigger any 'get well' program within Veolia.

Advance Indiana said...

Good catch on the LA Times report, Downtown Indy. Who would think that you would have to go to a newspaper across the country to find that fact reported. Memories are too short in this town.

Southsider said...

To the best of my knowledge, the "water hydrant" (have never seen 'fire' come out of one) that sits about 50 feet from my residence has never been flushed/opened/ inspected. Been here for 17 years.

Cato said...

Indianapolis needs to realize that "public safety" first means well-maintained roads and a functioning fire department. The term does not include drug-busters, traffic-ticket writers and the other 95% of counter-productive activities with which the police occupy themselves.

M.D. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
guy77money said...

The fire department doesn't inspect hydrants, the Water Company does it.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Indy Pendant, and all, what actions do you suggest that we east-side residents do, in an attempt to get better city services. I, among many,do feel both frightened and outraged by so much neglect, the frozen fire hydrants being a prime costly example.