Water pressure report on fatal 2021 Evergreen Court fire says utility did not commit any violations
A long-awaited report has been released on the water pressure during a deadly fire at an assisted living facility in Spring Valley in 2021.
The two-year anniversary of the fatal Evergreen Court fire is approaching. It claimed the life of resident Oliver Hueston and volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd.
The Public Service Commission has released a 100+ page report from its nearly two-year investigation into alleged low water pressure first responders experienced during that incident.
The investigationdetermined the water utility company, SUEZ, "did not commit any violations."
It wrote "an extraordinary amount of water was pumped to the area" and "did not reveal any problems or issues with SUEZ’s infrastructure."
The report did include that "multiple hydrants by multiple fire departments" using the "same network of hydrants" to fight the fire "continued to divide the available flow."
Ultimately, the PSC did come up with eight recommendations for the water utility, including maintaining and conducting flow tests on hydrants every 10 years, more communication and training with fire departments and the water company, making hydrant data readily available for fire departments, and educating local governments on land use and constraints.
Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski was the first to ask the PSC to investigate the claims about the lack of water pressure, and says he plans to have future meetings with the commission as more people begin to read and respond to the report.
"So that moving forward, we turn this terrible tragedy into something that ends up, hopefully, keeping people safer in the future," he says.
A spokesman for Veolia, the company that bought SUEZ last year, told News 12: "We are aware of the report issued by the New York State Public Service Commission regarding this tragic fire and remain committed to working closely with the local volunteer fire departments on these issues."
It added that it is starting that work immediately.