Hydrant Problems Hampered Efforts to Save Florida Church

July 10, 2007

Trouble with fire hydrants in Freeport, Fla., hampered efforts to save a burning church, firefighters said.

Firefighters used water from a nearby retention pond to fight the June 6 fire at New Beginnings Church in Freeport until a tanker arrived. The church was destroyed.

“We’re not blaming the city of Freeport and we’re not blaming the firefighters, but there was a breakdown somewhere,” said Melissa Thomas, daughter of Pastor Louis Taunton at New Beginnings. “There’s no reason the whole structure should’ve burned.”

Freeport Fire Rescue spokesman Ted Brown said the nearest hydrant didn’t provide enough water pressure and another nearby hydrant was “inoperable” several times during the fire. He said flames were through the church’s roof when fire crews arrived.

Firefighters are now assessing all hydrants in the neighborhood.

Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News,

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