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No fire protection, no problem

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THREE RIVERS ISLAND - A man tired of waiting for fire protection in his neighborhood built his own makeshift fire hydrant.

"This isn't a cure-all, it gives us some piece of mind," said Sanford Kreisler.

Three Rivers Island has about 80 homes, 30 of them house permanent residents and there's more land to build on.  Since its existence, the community, only accessible by golf cart or boat, has not had its own fire or emergency protection services.

It can take 20-40 minutes for help to arrive, which is a big concern for responders. The community is located on parish lines, so the St. Amant Fire Department backs up Livingston Parish Fire Districts 8 and 9. Still, Three Rivers Island, located about seven miles from any fire district, does not have its own fire protection.

Last month, a house was destroyed by fire. St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department responded with its fire response boat. Responders say if they got to the scene any later, the fire could have spread to other homes.

Kreisler says he's not taking any more chances. He's attached a hose to his house that pumps about 23 gallons of water a minute.

"If there's a problem, you have the water, at least until the fire department gets here," he said.

Although Kreisler hopes he never has to use the fire hose for an emergency, this will buy him some time if tragedy strikes again.

Parish President Layton Ricks says he has met with members of the Livingston Parish Fire Districts 9, residents from the island and a boat builder to see if anything can be done. Currently, no solution has been decided on.

 

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