Frozen hydrants complicated Longmeadow firefighting efforts

Hampden County

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Frozen fire hydrants made it all the more difficult for Longmeadow firefighters to save a home Friday morning.

To effectively put out the house fire at 50 Elmwood Avenue Friday morning, firefighters needed water from several nearby hydrants. They found the hydrants frozen.

A rare occurence in Longmeadow.

Longmeadow Fire Chief John Dearborn told 22News, “Frozen hydrants are highly irregular for this community. In my 24 years here, I’ve never experienced multiple hydrants in one incident.”

These frozen hydrants proved useless in helping Longmeadow firefighters save the Elmwood Avenue home. Fortunately, everyone was able to get out safety.


4-alarm house fire on Elmwood Avenue in Longmeadow


Chief Dearborn explained there was nothing improper about the maintenance of those hydrants. “About every three hundred feet, we have 1100 hydrants [in the city]. They’re well maintained, the water department does a great job, annual inspections of all 1100 hydrants – they’re checked twice a year. So this is really just a fluke because of the rapid onset of the cold weather.”

Chief Dearborn pointed out that currently, the frost that prevented the hydrants from working is between 24 and 30 inches thick in the ground.

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