Why no hydrant near restaurant fire? - abc27 WHTM

Why no hydrant near restaurant fire?

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The five-alarm fire at Visaggio's restaurant on Wertzville Road has raised questions about the placement of fire hydrants.

More than 20 tanker trucks had to shuttle water to the scene of the fire for hours Sunday night because there were no hydrants nearby.

It turns out there are no state regulations about where fire hydrants should be placed. That is up to your local government and depends on access to public water systems.

"In some cases it's not available to the area," said Jim Hall, emergency management coordinator for Silver Spring Township. "Where Visaggio's sits, water is not available to that particular area because of Interstate 81 and the distance it has to be brought in from Hampden Township to the Wertzville area."

When there is access to public water, the local government decides where hydrants are placed.

"I like to see it in the development itself every 600 feet or at the next intersection," Hall said. "If it is along a thoroughfare like Wertzville Road, we do stretch it out to 1,000 feet."

Hall also explained that they encourage large warehouses or businesses to install sprinkler systems, but that it is not for every business.

"For a proprietorship like Visaggio's, it is just cost prohibitive," Hall said.


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