KC firefighters extinguish 2-alarm house fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

KC firefighters extinguish 2-alarm house fire despite 1 hydrant not working

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Firefighters had their hands full with a two-alarm fire at a large home early Wednesday morning.

The fire started shortly before 5 a.m. at the home located in the 4300 block of McGee Street in the South Hyde Park area of the city. The fire was called under control at about an hour later.

While firefighters were fighting the fire, an air conditioner on the roof came through the ceiling. No firefighters were injured during the incident.

The second alarm was called shortly after 5:30 a.m.

Three people were inside the home at the time, sleeping on the third floor. They were able to get out safely.

Firefighters ran into a broken fire hydrant while battling the fire, but the city said it didn't hurt them while they worked because there was a working hydrant halfway down the block.

The problem that arose was that when crews pulled up to the burning home in darkness, there was no marking to show the first hydrant was down.

By late morning, though, a white cap was put on the hydrant to indicate it is out of commission.

The fire department told the KCTV5 investigative team that they had previously inspected the hydrant, discovered it needed to be fixed but failed to pass that along to repair crews at the water department.

"Things happen on fire scenes. You may have a hydrant that isn't working for whatever reason, whether our fault or someone else's fault, a hydrant goes down. We have supplemental water in place," said James Garrett with the fire department.

Ever year the Kansas City Fire Department inspects all of the city's 23,361 fire hydrants. Currently 1.9 percent of 445 of them are out of service.

The city bought new computer tablets to help firefighters streamline the inspection reports they send to the water department about bad hydrants.

The water department said there was a delay in getting the tablets, so with a couple of weeks left in 2013, inspectors have checked 78 percent of the city's hydrants. Spokeswoman Jennifer Kincaid says the department is still planning to complete the inspections by the end of the year and improve the out-of-service number to 1 percent by Dec. 31.

Several pets, possibly one dog and three cats, were pulled from the home by firefighters Wednesday morning. First responders also provided oxygen to at least a couple of the cats at the scene.

A neighbor was taking the pets to be checked out at a veterinarian clinic, but they seemed to be OK.

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