Anderson Co. fire shows lack of fire hydrants

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ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)-An Anderson County barn fire is raising questions about fire hydrants.

According to firefighters, the nearest water source at that fire Friday morning was three and a half miles away.

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When volunteer firefighters arrived, the almost 100-year-old barn was already a loss.

Ethan Burgess’ mom and step-dad own the farm. Burgess says his mom sent him a video of the fire.

“I just saw it going up in flames,” he said.

Burgess says it was the farm’s main barn. His family lost expensive equipment, sentimental items, and a shelter for their cattle.

“You never expect a barn to just catch on fire like that,” Burgess said.

That’s why he never really thought about where the closest fire hydrant is. It’s three and a half miles away.

Firefighters arrived to the barn with 9,000 gallons of water, but it took four and a half hours and 29,000 gallons to put out the flames.

“It’s time consuming and man power consuming. It just takes a lot of people to move that much water,” Chief Patrick Krogman said.

Anderson County Fire Chief Patrick Krogman says he’s used to it because in Anderson County there aren’t a lot of hydrants outside of the city.

“People take that inherent risk when they live in a rural community,” Krogman said.

They often pay double for insurance because of it. Krogman says it’s a public safety problem.

“It takes firefighters away from the actual firefighting operations,” Krogman said.

The chief says if you’re missing a hydrant in your neighborhood, though, it isn’t likely you’ll be able to get one.

“I’d like to put a hydrant every 1000 feet, but that’s extremely expensive and it’s just not going to happen,” Krogman said.

The South Anderson Water District would have to install larger water lines. Krogman says there isn’t a tax base to pay for it.

Instead, he’s trying to use the money his district has to hire part-time firefighters and add stations to better cover slices of Kentucky heaven.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!