Man says the water board in Hurtsboro let a man's house burn - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Man says Hurtsboro water board let house burn down to conserve water

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -

A community is at a war of words over water.  Some in Hurtsboro are saying in an effort to conserve water, officials let a man's house burn down Monday.

News Leader 9 went to Hurstboro where the house and tempers were still smoldering.  History gone up in flames, the shell is all that remains of an 1830's home on Rail Road Street in Hurtsboro, Alabama.

Early Monday morning a fire blazed through the home destroying it; but, one man says it could've been prevented.

"The water board in Hurtsboro, Alabama, one of their board members came up here and cut the hydrant off to the truck," Hurtsboro business owner Buddy Whidden said.

Tag Williams is the man being accused of cutting off the water.  "I went up there at three o'clock that morning. [I] mainly went up there to help our water supervisor to monitor the water tank to make sure that we were not running out of water," water board member Tag Williams said.

The town has a well pump system.  A Firefighter that helped put the blaze out says after working on the fire for three to four hours the water levels got very low and all of a sudden there was no water pressure.

"Up to five o'clock we were getting down to a quarter of a tank.  We told them that if they could, let's start using less water as much as possible so we could conserve the water because it was about time for people to start getting up and taking showers," Williams said.

Firefighters explain the water being cut off made the difference between the owner losing one or two rooms and losing everything.

"I was hoping that the situation would resolve itself so that I could at least try to preserve some of the rooms and some of the antiques…but, I wasn't able to do that," the owner of the home said.

"But, at the same time, Hurtsboro can also receive Russell County water but they do not want to turn the Russell County water on because they don't want to have to pay the Russell County water bill," said Whidden.

"If we need water from Russell County we have a relationship with them where we can ask them to cut the water on to us," said Williams. "It does take about an hour. We never saw that we were in that situation where we needed that so we never did it."   

The argument remains a He said and He said, but for the owner it's simply time to start over.

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