No Hydrants, No Problem: Rural Residents

By Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009  |  Updated 8:07 AM CDT
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No Hydrants, No Problem: Rural Residents

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Because residents have private water supplies and are in an unincorporated area, state law doesn't require them to have fire hydrants.

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Seven different fire departments fought a weekend fire in an unincorporated part of Tarrant County without fire hydrants, but residents said they feel safe in their neighborhood.

Firefighters used water trucks to battle the blaze at a home in a rural development near Haslet. More than six water trucks rotated in and out of the firefight, bringing water to douse the flames near Highland Springs and Willow Springs.

Because residents have private water supplies and are in an unincorporated area, state law doesn't require them to have fire hydrants, said Tarrant County Fire Marshal Randy Renois.

Renois said the neighborhood's emergency district is properly prepared, because the county bought eight water trucks/engines.

Residents such as Jeff Molenburg said they feel safe without hydrants.

"The fire departments all showed up almost at the same time," he said. "They just came from all different directions. When I went outside, several different departments were already there. Water trucks were already lining up on one end of the street. Of course, the fire trucks were wrapped around the house."

Molenburg said it's a risk he's willing to take to live in the country. He also said he has county emergency numbers -- instead of a city emergency number -- ready in case of an emergency.

Another resident said she doesn't want hydrants in the area for fear she would have to pay higher property taxes to the municipality that provided the infrastructure.

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