by BRAD ROLLINS
The city’s engineering and capital improvements department plans to install fire hydrants on Loop Street sooner than previously planned after firefighters were forced to truck in water Wednesday evening to battle a house blaze.
First responders laid 2,000 feet — nearly 2/5 of a mile — of fire hose and were still less than halfway from the nearest hydrant on Perkins Street to the fire that was consuming Dr. Benge Elliott’s home at 901 Old Ranch Road 12, Fire Chief Les Stephens said. They resorted instead to using tanker trucks to relay water 2,000- to 3,000 gallons at a time, mostly to wet down trees and brush to prevent the fire from spreading to other houses.
“There was nothing we could have done to save” the Elliott house, Stephens said the next day. “It was too far gone when we got there.”
Although there are smaller pockets of residential areas around town without fire hydrants, Stephens said, ridgetop Loop Street in the Southwest Hills neighborhood is by far the largest unprotected area.