In March of 2010, the Children's Home of Lubbock experienced a tragedy. Cottage No. 5 caught fire due to a faulty dishwasher, completely destroying the kitchen and causing heavy smoke damage in the rest of the cottage.
The Lubbock Fire Department was able to control the flames but told Children's Home President Lynn Harms that if the fire may have destroyed everything because there were not enough fire hydrants to battle the flames. That's when the project began that ended with a ribbon cutting this afternoon.
"We installed about 4,000 feet of 8 inch water line pipe that completely circles our campus and then every building out here is within 500 feet of a fire hydrant and many of them within 500 feet of two fire hydrants," said Harms.
"The Fire Marshall said we really need more fire protection out here, if we had a fire out here we're not as adequately covered as we need to be and we fixed that today," he said.
The total cost of the project was $2,020,000 and all of the money was raised thanks to donations.
"One individual from Wichita Falls who had a family foundation asked what we needed and after I told them they sent $1,000,000 to get us started. Another couple last year gave us $50,000 for it and we received gifts along the way," said Harms.
Instillation wasn't completely finished until yesterday but Harms says he will sleep better at night knowing that there is increased safety should another fire happen.
"We feel better. We're grateful for every person that gave money to make this possible and like I said we're grateful for the great engineering firm and we're grateful for the great construction company," he said.
Z. D. Hernandez is the house parent for cottage No. 5, which burned down in 2010. She described what she called a terrifying night when the fire began. She recalls yelling to her husband, screaming at the girls to get out quickly and rushing to grab all of the most important documents and she is very happy to have the new fire hydrants.
"The Fire Department, paramedics, everybody came and they were putting out the fire with whatever water they had, but to have something that is actually closer and to know it's more available is such a relief."
Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.