DAVIS CREEK, W.Va. -- In an emergency every second counts, but valuable time was wasted Tuesday when firefighters were left high and dry trying to hook up to a hydrant that turned out to be fake.
Firefighters are still trying to figure out why the hydrant was there. They said some people use them as decoration, but also said it could be used to defraud their insurance company.
It created a very dangerous situation, though, Tuesday morning in Davis Creek. Fire Chief Jeff Snodgrass said his firefighters spent about 15 minutes hooking up to the hydrant and the had to unhook and switch gears to haul in the water.
He said the problem is created because not all hydrants look alike -- ones operated by West Virginia American Water are all blue and white. But private hydrants in subdivisions and installed by home owners can be any color of the rainbow.
"People install these for decoration or for the convenience of their pets," Snodgrass said. "If the fire department is not notified about it, to us -- even our trained eye -- this fire hydrant looks like a real true fire hydrant."
Now the West Virginia Legislature is efforting a bill that would require all non-working hydrants to be identified by painting the hydrant black or putting a tarp over it if it's not working.
The fire department is still trying to figure exactly why that fire hydrant was there. And, so far, they don't know how the fire started. No one was home at the time.
Republished with permission of WSAZ-TV.