Hydrants not working near deadly house fire - KMSP-TV

Hydrants not working near deadly house fire

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Detroit firefighters are finding themselves in a new battle. Non-working fire hydrants are making their jobs more difficult and it's putting lives and property in danger.

Click on the video player to watch reports from Ronnie Dahl and Robin Schwartz.

Stuffed animals line the porch on a two story home on Promenade. A sad reminder of the tragedy that took place over the weekend. It was around 1 a.m. Saturday when flames ripped through the home. Several people were inside including small children. Neighbors rushed to try and save them but a 9 month old baby did not survive.

When Detroit firefighters arrived, they found the home filled with smoke and flames. The thing they needed most to fight the blaze wasn't working. The fire hydrant right across the street, is out of service. Fox 2 has learned, several others hydrants close by also weren't working. Some are in need of repairs, others are frozen. It's a growing problem across the city. And thieves are making things worse by stealing brass from hydrants for scrap metal.

There's heavy damage at the house on the 12000 block of Promenade where the deadly fire occurred. We talked to one neighbor who took part in the desperate effort to save the family.

"The grandma threw three [children] through the window and she said she couldn't get the other one," said Blake Maxwell. "We did the best we could. We couldn't get the baby but we dragged one man out. It was crazy."

"You don't know when you're going to see a person for the last time," added Andrew Maxwell. "To be so young, however it went, it's sad, it's sad, it really is."

Witnesses tell us it appears the fire started in the kitchen of the house but it's still not clear what caused it.

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