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Fire department fights fire without hydrant

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BATON ROUGE - An electrical short torched a home near the Amite River over the weekend.

St. George Fire Department responded to the fire, which was almost two miles away from the nearest water source.

The home off Hoo Shoo Too Rd. and Kendalwood Rd. was built long before city code was written, requiring fire hydrants be placed 1,000 feet apart in residential neighborhoods.

Water was supplied by tanker trucks because of the house's location. St. George spokesperson Eldon Ledoux said it's an issue which sometimes crops up.

"We do have a relatively small number of our residents that potentially need this help," he said. "We maintain tanker trucks for when they're needed."

Each tanker holds 1,800 gallons of water. They pump 500 gallons of water a minute to the fire truck, which maintains a constant flow of water. The trucks are able to carry water to a fire, beyond the normal water distribution of fire hydrants.

"This is the way a lot of volunteer fire departments who serve remote areas that don't have fire hydrants, this is sort of what the fire service evolved from," said Ledoux.

The department is also prepared with an app which shows the closest hydrant to an address, providing information about the equipment needed long before firefighters arrive on scene.

The Baton Rouge Water Company says it has no plans to install hydrants in the Kendalwood area. It would take action from a developer or money fronted by the neighborhood to make changes.


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