More hydrants requested after Ga. house fire

Water issues force city officials to consider adding additional fire hydrants


Billy Hobbs
The Union-Recorder, Milledgeville, Ga.

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. — More fire hydrants are needed in a large residential subdivision off Log Cabin Road in Baldwin County.

At least that’s the belief of commission vice chairman Henry Craig, who brought up the issue with fellow commissioners during a meeting last week.

Such discussion comes in the wake of a fire that destroyed a house at 102 Water Ridge Drive N.E. on March 25.

Fortunately, there were no injuries.

The residence was home to John and Johnette Cornell.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined, fire records show.

“The caller advised that her pool house was on fire,” according to the fire report.

Firefighters located what appeared to be a two-story building, attached to the main house, which was fully involved.

“Upon investigation, fire crews discovered that the fully involved portion of the structure was attached to the main part of the structure at the C-D corner via a single beam,” according to the fire report. “The main part of the structure was showing smoke from the B side at the attic.”

Firefighters from the county, as well as the city of Milledgeville, worked together to battle the blaze and finally extinguish it.

“We had a terrible fire in Waters Edge,” Craig told his colleagues and others attending last week’s commission meeting. “We determined that there [are] some water issues in that area of the county.”

Craig recommended commissioners hold a work session concerning the water issue to discuss the need for more fire hydrants in Waters Edge.

“And there are other places in the county that potentially have the same problems,” Craig said. He requested that Commission chairman Johnny Westmoreland call for a work session so commissioners and others can discuss the issues.

Since last week’s commission meeting, a work session has been scheduled for today (Tuesday, April 9) at 3:30 p.m. to discuss water concerns and fire hydrant issues. The public meeting will be held in the commissioner’s meeting room on the third floor of the county courthouse.

Craig requested county fire officials and water officials attend today’s work session.

Commissioner Emily C. Davis noted last week that she thought county manager Carlos Tobar had said recently that it was the city of Milledgeville’s responsibility to provide the fire hydrants for Waters Edge.

Tobar acknowledged that was correct.

Craig said there are only three fire hydrants in Waters Edge.

Tobar said he had requested 10 additional fire hydrants in a letter that he recently sent city officials.

“I think it would be a good idea for us to talk about water in general, and particularly, to hear from our fire chief and our water person to make sure that we have appropriate (water) pressure where we have control over the lines,” commissioner Sammy Hall said. “But, I think we really need to emphasize that the city provides a large portion of water service in the northern part of the county. And if they’re going to provide that service then they should be responsible to provide those water hydrants and the proper water pressure to protect people’s property.”

Craig said he agreed with Hall.

He said a part of the discussion at the upcoming work session needed to be with County Water and Sewer Director Jason Kidd, as well as with Steve Somers, the county fire chief.

“We need to ensure that we identify areas that need attention,” Craig said.

The commission vice chairman pointed out that there are other areas that lack fire hydrants in the northern portion of the county.

“And probably across the river, as well,” Davis said.

Hall said he would hope that the county’s water system has the appropriate distance between fire hydrants.

“That’s a good question and we need to know the answer to it,” Hall said. “And I know that we have some water pressure problems across the river, so that’s another issue.”

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©2019 The Union-Recorder (Milledgeville, Ga.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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