Graysville Fire Department defends fire response - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Graysville Fire Department defends fire response despite faulty hydrant

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GRAYSVILLE, TN. (WRCB) - A Rhea County woman says the fire department failed her, claiming a series of equipment problems caused her home to be gutted by fire.

Channel 3 continues pushing for answers and now we have new details from the Graysville Fire Department about what happened.

An electrical fire broke out in Gina Gordy's Graysville home Sunday. She has a big problem with the way the fire department responded. She and a dozen neighbors blame a faulty hydrant, but the fire department says everything is legal.

"I mean, this is me and my son's home. This is all we have. If maybe the response time was a little quicker, they could've saved something," Gordy says.

She says problems started when the first truck to respond didn't have water in it, but Assistant Fire Chief Adam Burns says that's not true.

"The first truck, I was driving myself. It had 500 gallons of water on it," Assistant Fire Chief Adam Burns says.

He thinks Gordy is just confused at which truck was doing what. He says they were already fighting the fire with that water tank when the second truck arrived.

It ran around 500 feet of hose to a fire hydrant, because the one that's about 20 feet from her home is broken.

"I pay taxes for this kind of thing," Gordy says.

About a dozen neighbors say it's been a concern of theirs for a while, with one man even bringing Mayor Ted Doss out to look at it several months ago.

"I said where are you going to hook up at? He said well we'll hook up down there that way or up that way. I said, Ted, don't you realize by the time you do all that, one of these trailers will be gone," neighbor Roger Elkins says.

Burns says they knew about the broken hydrant, but fixing it hasn't been on the to-do list.

He says that's because the one on Dayton Avenue meets the state maximum of 800 feet. The homeowner claimed it took 20 minutes for water to hit the house.

"If we would've been there like they said, more than 20 minutes, it would've been on the ground. There'd been nothing to save," Burns says.

Records show it took six minutes for the first fire truck to arrive and another 15 minutes to stop the fire.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody else," Gordy says.

Gordy and her neighbors still hold firm that the broken hydrant should be fixed. They say they worry how many other hydrants aren't working, and aren't on a list to repair.

Assistant Chief Burns says they need to take those concerns up with the city commission at the next meeting, which is Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

If anyone has questions over a broken fire hydrant near your home, contact your local fire department. It's required to keep inspection logs.

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