FROZEN HYDRANT HINDERS FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING HOUSE FIRE
By Cynthia M. Jeffries
A frozen fire hydrant posed a slight problem for Tupelo firefighters battling a Monday morning fire.
Fire hydrants are not supposed to freeze, said Mark Flanagan, Tupelo Fire Department's chief of training. But water left in a "weep hole" froze and blocked the water from flowing. Once firefighters realized the hydrant was frozen, water from pumper trucks was used to put out the house fire.
The blaze was reported about 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Linden Hill home of Charles Coleman.
The front of the house was burning and flames were shooting from the one-story, wood-frame house by the time firefighters arrived on the scene.
It took firefighters about 10 minutes to get the blaze under control. The house was nearly leveled.
Flanagan said it appeared the fire originated in the living room. A cause had not been established Tuesday. No one was injured.
A frozen fire hydrant is something unusual for this area, Flanagan said.
"It's something people up north have to deal with all the time," he said.
But the recent cold spell has had its effect, even on emergency crews.
A weep hole is the barrel on the hydrant to which a fire hose connects. Over time, the weep hole will get clogged or freeze if water is left there.
There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 fire hydrants inside the city limits of Tupelo. For the last few weeks, firefighters have been checking fire hydrants to make sure they are operating properly. Linden Hill was not an area firefighters had made it to.