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Firefighters Spend the Day Closing Hydrants they Didn't Open

Firefighters Spend the Day Closing Hydrants they Didn't Open

The opened fire hyrants are becoming a nuisance for police, firefighters and some neighbors.

Associated Press

May 31, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Firefighters spent a portion of their Sunday shutting hydrants that were apparently opened by people looking to get relief from the hot weather.

At the corner of South Ohio Avenue and Siebert Street, a fire hydrant was opened at least four times on Sunday, it was reported.

One firefighter said that he has responded to 15 reports of open hydrants by Sunday evening.

Neighbors and firefighters said that the fun by opening a hydrant is not worth the safety risks.

“The kids might be knocked in the street, hit by a car, so you don’t want the kids playing in the street,” said Stacy Gilmore, a neighbor.

“We’ve got kids out here in the water, we’ve got standing water in the street,” said Columbus police Officer Kevin Winchell. “It’s dangerous for traffic, not to mention we get a lot of these fire hydrants that are actually damaged by people opening and closing them. If we do have an actual fire, the hydrants don’t work.”

Some witnessed a 16-year-old girl nearly getting struck by a car when she was running in the street. The girl injured her arm after she landed on the car’s hood.