Fire Crews Ill-Equipped, Says Sister Of BA House Fire Victim
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - The sister of a Green Country woman killed in a house fire wants the community's help putting in fire hydrants on the street where her sister died.
The Broken Arrow Fire Marshal said a fire hydrant on this street would probably not have saved Shelly Mayor's life, but her family believes it might have helped save some of her house.
Piles of burned wood and broken glass are daily reminders of the New Year's Eve fire that killed Shelly Mayor.
It's a tragedy Shelly's sister, Crystal Leith, said she hopes doesn't happen to anyone else.
"It's not gonna bring back what we've lost or who we've lost but we just want to prevent this from happening to someone else in the area," said Leith.
Firefighters fought the fire and hot spots for 8 hours in freezing temperatures, bringing in their own water because there are no fire hydrants on the street.
“I think the firefighters did a very good job with what they had to work with. I just don't think they were very well equipped," Leith said.
Leith believes a fire hydrant might have helped firefighters put out the flames faster, possibly saving some of the house.
"I think they could've got the fire out sooner, they could've done it quicker and maybe got to Shelly a little bit sooner and Meshel and them probably wouldn't have lost everything," Leith said.
The City of Broken Arrow annexed the neighborhood in 2001 but Rural Water District 4 continues to service residents instead of the city.
District 4 Operations Manager Rick Lang said that's standard.
"If the people in the neighborhood want to get together and help pay the cost of upgrading that water line, by all means, but it is a cost to the people living there to get it updated," Lang said.
Lang said the neighborhood currently has a 4-inch water line; they have to have a 6-inch line at least to put in a fire hydrant.
He said Rural Water Districts are not required to put in fire hydrants but his branch tries to keep newer developments updated.
Lang said it's the older ones they have trouble updating because of the cost.