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Firefighters warn about dangers of growing plants covering fire hydrants

Plantation Fire Department Deputy Chief Joel Gordon warns about the dangers of allowing growing plants to cover a fire hydrant.

PLANTATION, Fla. – Firefighters recently responded to a report of a house fire on Southwest 15th Street in Plantation, but when they arrived, the fire hydrant was nowhere to be found. Trees were covering it. Even though the fire trucks carry water, it doesn’t last very long.

Firefighters are warning the public to not allow growing plants to cover fire hydrants. Plantation Fire Department Deputy Chief Joel Gordon said it is important for residents to make sure there is an unobstructed fire hydrant near their homes.

“Time is of the essence when we have a fire,” Gordon said.

Despite the warnings, a group of neighbors in Plantation reported a resident refused to uncover the fire hydrant on Northwest 74th Way. The resident had ignored neighbors and code enforcement officers, but he decided not to ignore Local 10 News.

As soon as we arrived, the resident grabbed his hedge shears and got to work.

Plantation code enforcement records show the city had cited the resident several times — even as far back as 2016. It appears he complied back then, but the vegetation grew and obstructed the fire hydrant again. His neighbors were glad he finally listened.

“I am going to check with the departments involved and see who is responsible for this. It is probably something we can up our game on, so we will do our best to get better on this,” said City Councilman Nick Sortal.

Gordon said the problem is so prevalent in the area that the city decided to install reflective markers on the road to alert firefighters about the location of fire hydrants. Maps on computer systems also show the locations of the fire hydrants.

“The first thing we do is look for a second hydrant because it is quicker to hook up to a second than try to clear it,” Gordon said. “If are desperate, we will try to cut the debris that is in the way but that takes even more time.”

If the fire hydrant on your street isn’t accessible, contact your fire department or Local 10 News at JWeinsier@Local10.com.

6 p.m. report

Firefighters recently responded to a report of a house fire on Southwest 15th Street in Plantation, but when they arrived, the fire hydrant was nowhere to be found. Trees were covering it. Even though the fire trucks carry water, it doesn’t last very long.

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.