Numerous fires around the state yesterday and last night. This does not help our firefighters. Please help them so they can help you and your neighbors. pic.twitter.com/6m8x7z36vk
— MD Fire Marshal (@bsg_mdsfm1) November 23, 2018
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In late 1968, my family was living for about a year in a townhouse at 11 King James Circle off the 6800 block of Liberty Road In Baltimore County, Maryland. It was part of a fairly new complex called Balmoral Towers. I used to play with my friends in the towers, a high-rise building just across the parking lot. At 13-years-old, I was just starting to have some interest in the fire department. Because of that, I would take note that people frequently parked their cars in front of the hydrant at the entrance to the building. What I never noticed was anyone getting in trouble for doing so. No tickets. No cars being towed. It bothered my admittedly unworldly and naive view of justice. But now, 50-years later, at that very hydrant, someone got caught. And it happened in a very big way.
Late Thursday night into early Friday morning, the Baltimore County Fire Department fought a two-alarm fire on the 8th floor of what is now known as Liberty Towers. A citizen thought their need to park close to that building was more important than the first-due engine company’s need for water. As you see in the pictures, the engine got it’s water.
There are some in the fire service who are very much against the idea of making such a dramatic example of those who block fire hydrants. I get the argument. But I also know a widely distributed picture like this can have a lot more impact than a no parking sign. It also makes the 13-year-old boy–still living inside of me somewhere–very happy. Thank you Baltimore County Fire Department!