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Fire hydrants not working during 16th and Oakley house fire

Posted at 2:51 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 18:33:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Fire Department discovered three fire hydrants didn't work at the scene of a house fire Monday morning. 

Just before 9:30 a.m., firefighters went to a house fire at 16th and Oakley Avenue. 

According to KCFD, when crews arrived the person living in the home was outside as the blaze ripped through the two-story house. 

Three of the nearby fire hydrants were not working, according to KCFD Deputy Chief Jimmy Walker. One seemed to be vandalized and the other two were not putting out any water. 

This is the second time in as many months KCFD has encountered faulty hydrants. On July 19, on 30th and Chelsea Avenue, a vacant house caught fire and three nearby hydrants were also not putting out any water. 

"It's something we train for on a daily basis,” Walker said. “We prepare for this, as part of our daily training."

Monday's hiccup caused fire crews to delay their attack for about two minutes. Walker said it's disappointing to see some of the fire hydrants being vandalized. 

"It's not worth the thrill or whatever monetary gains they get by vandalizing fire hydrants for the life-safety issue it poses,” Walker said. 

As the fire burned, nearby neighbors also noticed fire crews were having a hard time dousing the fire. 

"Firemen went up there, opened it up and nothing, and they said another one down there didn't work," said nearby neighbor Barry Fowler. 

Others said while the fire was under control relatively quickly, every minute counts if an older house catches on fire.

"Two, three minutes, yeah it can mean a lot, from a house being totally destroyed to just getting it down to where it can be repaired," said Mark Knights. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.