The good news was that our neighbors were out of town also, having left home a short time before the fire broke out. Our hearts went out to our neighbors, who lost everything but the clothes on their backs. My wife and I had planned to come back to Rome on Sunday, but we decided to come home Saturday afternoon to see the damage to the house. We both had fond memories of the house because one of our daughters and sons- in-law had lived there some 18 years, and we had shared many good times together in the house. Our daughter and her family had sold the house only two months ago.
As we were driving home we wondered how the house could burn completely down in such a short time. The fire chief in charge that day was at the site within four minutes of the call. I am sure the trucks were there also.
Our street is a cul-de-sac with a little rise to the end. There are two fire hydrants — one hydrant is less than 100 yards from the house.
We saw our neighbors at the site on Sunday morning and went to offer whatever help we could. From this meeting there developed additional stories that were interesting. The firemen were here to do their job, and they went to hook up their hoses, and the hydrant did not work. That is a mild statement. It was not even hooked up to the water supply. It fell to the ground. The hoses had to be diverted to another hydrant down the street.
How much time was lost? I do not know. Would it have mattered in saving the house? I do not know. I do know that all the houses on this street have been in harm’s way for at least the 20 years we have lived here because this hydrant has not been inspected. What a shame. At least the firemen would have had more time to address the fire. Work crews were here Monday morning to fix the hydrant. It took less than two hours