SMITHS STATION, AL (WTVM) - Tenants living in close quarters in about a dozen small single-family homes on Lee Road 430 in Smiths Station are up in arms about what they're calling inadequate fire protection due to the lack of fire hydrants on their street.
Neighbor Ruth Reed tried to help the mother and her middle school age son, who was on crutches, scrambled to safety when their home went up in smoke on Saturday. "It's terrifying. Something has to be done because homes are burning down over here," explained Reed.
The homes are about 20 feet apart. Intense flames spread quickly Saturday night damaging the house next door and the home across the street. Now, Reed is concerned for her safety. "Like I told my neighbors, 'it could be you or me."
We took Reed's concerns to the landlord at Tim Thomason's Rental Properties. Although Thomason wasn't available for comment---one of the volunteer firefighters who battled this blaze did speak to News Leader 9.
Daniel Sexton pointed out a fire hydrant that's within 400 yards of those homes where the fire happened this past weekend. "We have 5 trucks that hold 1000 gallons of water. We shuttle water from all the trucks and the water pressure is adequate just as if it were coming straight from a fire hydrant," recalled Sexton.
Reed says she felt the water pressure used to fight Saturday's blaze was more like little spurts. Meanwhile, Sexton contends their process is consistent with what's normal for rural areas like Smiths Station.
Both the mother and her son were unharmed in the fire.