Frozen fire hydrants give Flint firefighters trouble - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Frozen fire hydrants give Flint firefighters trouble

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(02/04/13) - Freezing temperatures gave Flint firefighters a major headache over the weekend. Hydrants near a motel fire were so frozen, firefighters couldn't use them.

Flames ripped through a Dort Highway motel Saturday night. The America Inn is gutted, and firefighters were on the scene for six hours.

"From time to time, we run into situations where the stem, which is the part inside the fire hydrant that opens the flow of water, that gets so cold and brittle it actually breaks when a firefighter tries to open it," said Flint Battalion Chief Andy Graves.

They say the recent cold snap is likely to blame. While the motel burned, crews had trouble with fire hydrants freezing and breaking.

"They looked farther down the block for other hydrants that were accessible, used the ones that were available and called for tankers to support the operation from there," Graves said.

They say this is something firefighters everywhere deal with when it gets too cold. Even the healthiest hydrant is no match for mother nature.

"It's just the nature of the beast, when the weather gets really really cold, occasionally we run into problems, fire hydrants do freeze, they are inspected and maintained, but it's just one of those situation that happens in cold weather," he said.

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