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Firefighters say they only learned Disney World removed hydrants after fire occurred

Disney World firefighters left without water at spreading car fire

Watch WFTV-TV story

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In March, four cars were destroyed and four more damaged in a Disney World parking lot thanks to a lack of water. WFTV-TV reports Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue firefighters believe the fire could have been held to one or two cars if a series of hydrants hadn’t been removed three-years-ago without notification to firefighters. To make matters worse, the department’s tanker was not in service on the day of the fire. The rig is described as “aging”. According to the news report, it took 30-minutes before the arrival of a tanker from Orange County.

Besides the stupidity of Disney only now realizing it’s important to tell firefighters things like there will no longer be working hydrants in an area, you do have to wonder what access Reedy Creek firefighters have to Disney construction and demolition sites as they are ongoing. Are there restrictions on pre-planning and hydrant inspections that prevent firefighters from being more pro-active with less reliant on Disney?

Lauren Seabrook & Jason Kelly, WFTV-TV:

Engine 21 to Rescue 31: Do you have a visual on this hydrant?” a firefighter said in a radio transmission.

“No, sir. I came in the side gate there off Floridian Way, and I have yet to see a fire hydrant,” a firefighter said.

“The problem here is that since Walt Disney World is a multibillion-dollar corporation and they own their own government, they basically tell us what they’re going to do,” union president Tim Stromsnes said.

Disney told Channel 9 the fire hydrants were removed in 2015 during demolition of the Richard Petty Driving Experience. It said it is now ensuring firefighters have the accurate information they need about the locations of hydrants.

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