Bay County Firefighters Forced to Battle House Fire Without Hydrants

BAYOU GEORGE, Fla. - Firefighters in Youngstown battled a serious blaze last week without a nearby fire hydrant.
That forced the firefighters to choose a different strategy. 

"We came around with five fire stations, we had to run a tanker shuttle operation because there are no hydrants in this area and so we focused all our efforts on keeping it contained, making sure it didn't catch any other exposures on fire throughout the neighborhood," said Capt. Wayne Gilmore. 

4-different tanker trucks shuttled between the fire and this fire hydrant, 3-miles away, near the intersection of Highway 231 and County Road 2301.

Firefighters emptied the water into plastic holding pools, then used the water to fight the fire. Shuttling water this way is a little more work. But it's not unusual, given the large numbers of Bay County homes located rural areas. 

"When we show up to a fire initially, when you look at the initial response to a place like Fountain, we bring with us probably five to six gallons of water, the total amount of water used on that fire was 17,000 gallons of water and so for us it's very important to know where our closest not only hydrants are, but bodies of water that we can draft from," said Mark Bowen, Chief of Emergency Services in Bay County. 

Firefighters spend a significant amount of time training for these scenarios. 

"In our fire service it's a skill that you know, all of our firefighters have to be good at," Bowen added.

Taxpayers in each neighborhood have to unanimously agree to add fire hydrants, officials said. The decision can have an impact on a home's fire insurance. 









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