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Firefighter says fire hydrants can freeze when temperatures drop

Boone County Fire Protection District Bureau Director Gale Blomenkamp said fire hydrants can freeze anywhere in the United States. (File)

Boone County Fire Protection District Bureau Director Gale Blomenkamp said fire hydrants can freeze anywhere in the United States.

"It could happen here," he said. "There are times that we have drains that fail, and so we have to notify the water districts or the water department to come out and fix that, but it happens sometimes, and you just have to be prepared to go to the next hydrant."

A frozen fire hydrant in Belleville, Illinois, outside St. Louis caused issues as firefighters battled a house fire Dec. 28. Blomenkamp said this happens when drains get clogged.

"Those drains can become plugged," he said.

He said that in the spring and summer water departments should be checking the hydrants to be sure that their drains are working. This helps prevents freeze-ups in the winter.

Blomenkamp said even though his department usually fights fires in rural areas where they have to bring their own water, they still utilize fire hydrants.

"You still have to find a hydrant to refill those trucks, and so those hydrants are back in town, or near a water tower or something like that," he said. "Those are tested every year to make sure that they don't freeze, and that everything is functioning properly."

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