Residents at Somers condo, site of fatal 2022 fire, said broken hydrant is in urgent need of repairs
Residents in the Heritage Hills Condos in Somers are furious over a fire hydrant that has been out of service for almost a year.
They say they have tried for months to get it fixed to no avail.
A Heritage Hills Condos occupant died in a fire last February.
"It was a fire that couldn't be stopped, even with the fireman there. It was unbelievable," said condo resident Angelo Barlanti.
"The time it took to put it out and how fast it engulfed the whole unit, it's something you do think about, and people are concerned," said resident Artie Desio.
Condo residents are concerned because just a quarter of a mile down the road is the broken fire hydrant. They said it has been out of commission for about 11 months.
"If there is another fire of that magnitude here, the fireman upon arrival would have to scurry across two clusters down to the nearest fire hydrant downhill and uphill. By the time they did it, you're going to be losing valuable minutes," Desio stressed
Every second in a fire counts, but even more so in Heritage Hills where the responding fire department is comprised of volunteers. The vulnerability of the condo residents is also a factor during a fire.
"We're 98 units. Majority of the 98 are over 62. They can't get out of their house fast enough, they can't get out of their way fast enough," Desio said.
Residents said the broken fire hydrant is a major safety concern that they have tried to get repaired for a few months now.
Emails that date back to September 2022 indicate that Veolia Water Company told them that the hydrant needed a replacement part and would be installed by February 2023, but that deadline has come and gone.
In a statement, Veolia told News 12 that the neighborhood has adequate fire protection from other nearby hydrants. Viola expects the hydrant to be back in service later this month.