A spokesman for the city has confirmed that a crack in the thread of the hydrant is what led first responders to use hydrants blocks away from two burning homes.
Buffalo firefighters arrived to a fully engulfed house fire at 55 Nevada Avenue, off of Genesee, shortly before 1 p.m.
After trying unsuccessfully to use the hydrant on Nevada, firefighters ran hoses to both ends of the streets and a hose to Montana, the street behind the burning homes.
One neighbor tells 7 Eyewitness News that in the time firefighters spent finding a working hydrant the fire spread to his house next door at 53 Nevada Avenue.
“I’m panicking saying do something, do something my house is going to catch on fire, and they said we know we’re going to do the best we can,” Charles Quigley told 7 Eyewitness News. “They ended up running a hose across Genesee and then one all the way across to the next block just to get water to service this fire.”
Quigley’s home sustained $60,000 in damages; his neighbor's home is a total loss.
Quigley said the fire hydrant last worked, and was used, last week when a home nearby was demolished.
“Obviously if that hydrant was operational right out here, it would’ve been helpful,” Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, Jr. told 7 Eyewitness News.
On scene, Commissioner Whitfield said the hydrants are maintained by the water department, but he has not received any indication that the faulty hydrant hindered the efforts of the crews.
There are more than seven-thousand fire hydrants in the City of Buffalo.
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