LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A water main rupture at 54th Street and Quaker Avenue has forced Lubbock Fire & Rescue to take precautions in the event of a fire in Central Lubbock.
The fire department was notified Monday morning by the City of Lubbock Water Department that fire hydrants along 50th Street from University Avenue to Slide Road and along Quaker Avenue from 50th Street to 58th Street would be unavailable as crews worked to make repairs.
LFR has increased response to any structure fire in the area by adding one of its two tanker trucks stationed on the east and west side of Lubbock, which carry between 1,200 to 1,500 gallons of water. This will supplement the the four trucks that normally respond with 500 gallons of water each.
Captain Kevin Ivy said it is rare to have such a vast area affected in this way.
"Even though it is a big area, we're lucky that it's a long and narrow area," Ivy said.
Ivy tells KCBD most "room and content" fires within a structure can be extinguished with water from trucks but hydrants are still accessed with each response in case the fire worsens. Each truck is stocked at least one thousand feet of hose to access any nearby, usable hydrant.
"Even though that hydrant there on the front of the business on 50th is not working today, then we have a hydrant right around the street that is working," Ivy said.
Ivy said this is rare to have this many hydrants out of service in Lubbock because even one hydrant out of service is not normal
"One reason is that we go out and work them every year," Ivy said. "Especially this time of year, you'll start seeing crews going out and working hydrants. What they are doing is making sure that the hydrant is working and does have water to it. They are greasing all the caps on it and greasing it to where we can open it up faster and easier. If we do have problems with it, then we do let the water department know. They are quick at getting out and getting it fixed."
These hydrants forced out of service will have to be tested when they become available.
"We will have to go test it and make sure it is turned on all the way and make sure there is something not wrong with the flow," Ivy said. "With this being such a large area, not every one may be tested, but we will make sure to test them along the way to make sure they are all working."