The Public Safety Committee is expected to discuss the town ordinance on hydrants on private roads and developments at its next meeting after one did not work during the fire on Dogwood Court last month.
On Feb. 28, the was destroyed after a fire ripped through the structure. While fighting the blaze, firefighters on scene had problems with one hydrant. The Metropolitan District Commission investigated the hydrant.
Town Manager Barbara Gilbert informed the public at the last week that one of the hydrants did not work.
After hearing a lot of discussion in town, Gilbert clarified that the hydrants on private roads and development, which includes commercial properties such as and , are the responsibility of the owners or the management companies.
“And they (owners or the management companies) are supposed to provide the annually with contracts for maintenance of those fire hydrants,” she said.
Public Safety Committee Chairman and Town Councilor Joe Kochanek said the owners of private developments are supposed to have the fire hydrants on their property serviced annually and document the inspection with the fire marshal, according to a town ordinance adopted in 1978. He added all the sprinkler systems in the buildings needed to be certified as well.
“This was not a failure of the town to maintain or inspect that hydrant,” Gilbert said. “It was the responsibility of that association to have it maintained.”
Since the fire, the fire marshal has talked with the association owner and addressed the issue, Gilbert said. She added the condo associations are no longer required by law to register with the town and now the fire marshal must track down the management companies or presidents for each condo complex.
“We end up doing a lot of leg work,” Gilbert said.
Councilor Nadine Bell, who is a member of the Public Safety Committee, asked Kochanek to add the hydrant ordinance to the committee’s next meeting agenda.
“I just want to know what we can do to protect our residents,” Bell said. “Many of our residents moving into an over 55 community may not know to ask that and perhaps there is something that we can do to strengthen that.”
The fire hydrant ordinance will be reviewed at the next Public Safety Committee on March 19 at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers at . The committee is expected to discuss if larger fines are needed and if condo associations should be made to register with the town for this ordinance.
As for the fire investigation, it is believed the son, who is a smoker, threw a cigarette into a mulch pile that caught on fire, according to Fire Marshal Richard Renstrom. The fire moved from the mulch pile to a bush and then finally to the siding of the home.
There was ammunition inside the residence, but it was locked in gun safe in basement. The basement was never exposed to heat or fire, Renstrom said.