3 FIRE HYDRANTS FAILED NEAR MOHICAN FLOWERS

3 FIRE HYDRANTS FAILED

NEAR MOHICAN FLOWERS

Wa

Dennis Elliott of the village DPW this morning replaces the snapped flange on the hydrant at Main and Nelson.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Village Water Superintendent Dennis Elliott this morning replaces the snapped flange on the hydrant at Main and Nelson.  Mohican Flowers is on the other side of the street at the end of the block.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com

The operating nut on the hydrant in front of Spurbeck's, at right, snapped when firefighters tried to turn the hydrant on.  At left is a functioning operating nut.
The operating nut on the hydrant in front of Spurbeck’s, at right, snapped when firefighters tried to turn the hydrant on. At left is a functioning operating nut.

COOPERSTOWN – The three fire hydrants closest to Mohican Flowers failed as firefighters battled a “ball of fire” that consumed the greenhouse last evening.

This is the flange that snapped at the base of the Main-Nelson hydrant.
This is the flange that snapped at the base of the Main-Nelson hydrant.

Each hydrant was a different situation:

• Main-Nelson:  A fire truck drove over the fire hose once it was under pressure, causing the flange at the base to snap, disabling the hydrant, according to a written report Mayor Jeff Katz received overnight.

  • Railroad-Leatherstocking:  The operating nut at the top of the hydrant next to Spurbeck’s Grocery, which opens the flow of water, snapped, according to the report Katz received.  Examined this morning, it appeared to be rusted.
  • Bruce Hall lot:  Katz said the report he received didn’t mention that hydrant.  (Bruce Hall, in addition to a hardware store, is a lumber yard.)

Why the half-buried hydrant in the Bruce Hall lot didn't work was not explained in the report Mayor Katz received overnight, he said.
Why the half-buried hydrant in the Bruce Hall lot didn’t work was not explained in the report Mayor Katz received overnight, he said.

As described by Bill Waller, whose wife, former Mayor Carol B. Waller, operates Mohican Flowers, at first water was simply dripping out of the hoses.

The fire department set up inflatable pools, and used them as the water source.  A large pumper from Hartwick Seminary was a help, said Katz, who was at the scene.  One former firefighter said he never remembers the fire department having to resort to inflatable pools within the village.

Katz said he had been in consultation this morning with Trustee Bruce Maxson, who chairs the Village Board’s fire committee, and DPW Superintendent Brian Clancy on the matter.  Both are volunteer firefighters; Clancy is a former chief.

“Making sure we know what’s out there right now is crucial,” said Katz.  “I see us moving toward trying to figure that out.”

He said hydrants are supposed to be inspected every six months, and he thought the hydrants were examined at that time to make sure they were in working order.