CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — City of Charleston leaders tell 13 News that they have discussed a plan with West Virginia American Water to fix faulty fire hydrants in the historic Edgewood neighborhood.
This comes after a fire on Chester Road Friday that was difficult to put out due to three faulty fire hydrants closest to the home. The damage was so severe that the building was demolished on Saturday, under 24 hours following the start of the fire.
13 News has learned that the Charleston Fire Department has a plan to ensure proper coverage and they are working with the county, the city of Dunbar, the West Virginia National Guard and the City Streets Department to ensure there are additional water resources available.
Meanwhile, Councilperson Jeanie Faegre, who represents this area, said Tuesday that she talked with Mayor Goodwin and West Virginia American Water (WVAW). Her post on social media reads in part, “I received a call from the mayor and president of WVAW a short time ago. Both are quite aware that this is an issue that needs immediate attention. All hydrants in city will be checked. I told them that I am going to make this a priority until we all know each hydrant is in working order.”
Faegre also said that if anyone has poor water pressure or discolored water, they should contact WVAW.
WVAW and Mayor Goodwin released statements after the meeting with the city and the city Fire Department.
WVAW’s statement said, “Following today’s meeting, West Virginia American Water is committed to working alongside the City of Charleston and the Charleston Fire Department to remedy any issues with the three fire hydrants of concern and have them back into service as soon as possible. Additionally, the company will work closely with the Charleston Fire Department to identify any additional fire hydrants on 4” water mains and conduct flow testing to determine their efficiency in the event of an emergency. Any fire hydrant found to produce insufficient flow for firefighting will be repaired, replaced or otherwise mitigated.”
Mayor Goodwin’s statement said, “Today we discussed with West Virginia American Water (WVAW) their plan to fix the fire hydrant issues in the Chester Road area. While WVAW works to fix these fire hydrants, the Charleston Fire Department has a plan in place to ensure residents have proper fire protection coverage. We appreciate that the Kanawha County Commission has provided a fire engine that is equipped with 1,000 gallons of water, which has been located to Station 2 on Washington Street. We also appreciate the City of Dunbar, the West Virginia National Guard, and our City Street Department for having additional water resources available. The Charleston Fire Department has trained and planned for scenarios like this and is confident in their fire protection coverage. We will continue to work with WVAW to ensure fire hydrants throughout the City are operating properly. We are thankful for the continued hard work of the Charleston Fire Department, our emergency services partners across the region, and our entire city team and Council Member Jeanine Faegre for her efforts to ensure residents’ voices are heard.