Even fire hydrants can freeze

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A house fire on Eaton Drive near Ivy Tech challenged responding firefighters on Tuesday when they discovered the only fire hydrant was frozen.

Eaton Drive is outside city limits, in Vigo County, so the department responding was Honey Creek.

“We’ve had one incident in our jurisdiction that the first hydrant was froze! Luckily, the crews were able to knock the fire down with tank water! And so, a secondary hydrant wasn’t needed,” recalled Deputy Fire Chief Tom High.

The city fire chief, on the other hand, said, “Knock on wood, here in the city, we haven’t had any problems!”

Jeff Fisher credited Indiana American Water with maintaining city hydrants; but Fisher did recall a run-in with a frozen hydrant earlier in his career.

“We made a run to the Village Quarter! And that hydrant, the cap was froze! And we used to carry the little portable propane heaters, torches! And we’d have to heat the caps to get them off,” Fisher recalled.

Fisher also said in the city, firefighters have the luxury of picking and choosing. If one fire hydrant is frozen, another one across the street might not be. In the county, the hydrants simply are not as plentiful.

Both men said the general public can help with access to fire hydrants by keeping the immediate area free and clear of snow, ice and debris.

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