Frozen Hydrant Specialist Runs With Indy Crews

INDIANAPOLIS --

A hydrant specialist will stay on duty overnight to help Indianapolis firefighters if they run into a frozen water supply.

Crews struggled to open a hydrant early Tuesday while fighting a blaze in the 200 block of North Addison Street in frigid temperatures, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

An unidentified passer-by was credited with alerting three deaf family members in the home to the fire. No one was injured.

Paul Whitmore, spokesman for Veolia, the company that manages Indianapolis Water, said the hydrant was not frozen but is 100 years old and hard to open.

"When it's cold, this style of hydrant … becomes difficult to turn, especially when you're dealing with these near-zero-degree temperatures," he said.

Nonetheless, Veolia will put hydrant specialists on duty from midnight to 8 a.m. to assist with fire hydrant issues, Whitmore said.

During a cold snap in January, three frozen hydrants hampered firefighters' efforts to battle a blaze that destroyed the Texas Roadhouse restaurant off North Shadeland Avenue, along with a garage fire a few days later.

Whitmore said as a result of the issues, all 36,000 of the city's hydrants were inspected, with problem hydrants highlighted.

"Now what we're doing is going back to take a look at about 6,000 that we identified during that normal inspection process that we want to go back and look again before the weather got cold," he said.

That process is ongoing, he said.

Residents who notice a hydrant leaking, which can cause it to freeze, are asked to call 317-631-1431.

Firefighters To Get Help With Frozen Hydrants

Copyright 2010 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading