CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For the first time, we’re hearing radio recordings from firefighters on the scene of a fire that destroyed a Charleston home last week.
In the recordings, you can hear the frustration as responders struggled to find enough water as the two-story house on Chester Road was being consumed by the flames on Friday, May 5.
“Okay, we got a water supply issue, and we have heavy fire conditions evolving on the second floor,” can be heard in the recording.
We later learned that multiple fire hydrants in the Edgewood neighborhood did not have enough water pressure to battle the flames.
“Engine 3, Truck 1, confirm you’re actually pumping this water to us correct?,” a firefighter says during the recording. Less than a minute later the firefighter continues with, “Engine 3, Truck 1 – Still no water up here.”
Eventually, the house burned to the ground, and the damage was so severe that the building was demolished on Saturday, under 24 hours following the start of the fire. The City of Charleston says West Virginia American Water is responsible for fire hydrant maintenance.
In a statement, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin called the lack of water unacceptable, and residents in the area told WOWK 13 News Reporter Sam DeCoste the lack of water in those hydrants left them worried not only about their neighborhood, but hydrants throughout the city.
WOWK 13 News learned yesterday, May 9, that there is now a plan in place to get water to those homes in an emergency as those hydrants are currently out of commission.