Fire hydrants had to be dug out by firefighters while fighting apartment blaze
Firefighters in the Town of Cicero had to dig out fire hydrants to access water while fighting a fire that destroyed two apartments in a two-story, 12-unit apartment building on Wednesday morning.
Fire Chief Dominck Buscemi said that fortunately there were no injuries in the fire that took under one hour to extinguish at 26th St and 56th Ct, but he said valuable time was taken to clear the hydrant.
Buscemi urged residents in the Town of Cicero to clear snow from the fire hydrants near their homes in the event that an emergency situation arises.
He said that between fires and emergency calls, firefighters are shoveling snow from around hydrants but noted there are more than 1,200 in the Town and that even when snow is removed one day, a storm the next can cover them up again.
“Our firefighters are out there everyday digging out the fire hydrants in the Town of Cicero to ensure they are easily visible in the event of an emergency,” Buscemi said.
“But there are more than 1,200 fire hydrants in Cicero and even when we clear them, a snowfall the next day or day after. Like we have seen almost everyday for the past two weeks, covers them up again.”
Buscemi stressed that residents should monitor their hydrants and take a few minutes to clear the snow and ensure they stay visible.
“The residents at this apartment building this morning never expected a fire,” Buscemi said of the fire that was reported at 7:50 am.
“We were lucky that no one was injured and the fire was limited to only two of the units.”
Buscemi said that more than 40 people lived in the 12 unit building and that two of the units were deem uninhabitable as a result of the fire. One apartment was completed gutted by fire while the second was seriously damaged by smoke.
The majority of the residents were allowed to return to their apartments, but the Town of Cicero is working to find temporary shelter for two families in the two units that were damaged.