Lack of fire hydrant spells disaster for massive home

Local News

HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) —  A massive house burned to the ground in Henderson leaving a group of people without a place to call home. The fire was particularly hard to fight because of a lack of nearby water.

The home is in a rural area with no fire hydrants in sight meaning firefighters had to truck the water to the house. Neighbors 8 News Now spoke with say they’ve never thought about that as an issue but seeing the destruction changes that.

“It was on fire, I mean it was going pretty good,” said neighbor Jeff Howerbush who saw the flames.

The flames pierced the night sky and could be seen for miles. The fire started just before 11 p.m. in the 6,000 square foot home near Volunteer Boulevard and Gillespie Street. When it was over, the damage was estimated at $1.2 million.

“I was really surprised,” said Tom Hayden.

After the fire, the massive home was left unrecognizable.

“I’ve never really seen an actual house on fire, let alone a few hundred yards from my house,” Howerbush said.

He lives down the street and saw the devastation unfold.

“They said ‘Yeah, there’re no hydrants out here, so we can’t get water.”

He says fire crews had to battle the blaze without a nearby water source

 “We can’t put out structural fires without a good water supply,” said Deputy Chief John Steinbeck, Clark County Fire Department.

He said this is a common issue in any rural area.

“We’ve seen this over the years, where there are homes we could save with the proper water supply, but then we couldn’t save because it’s just too far away,” Steinbeck said.

They rely on water from fire hydrants so if a street doesn’t have them, crews have to shuttle it in which gives a fire more time to burn.

“It kinda made me think about what happens if something like that happens to your house,” Howerbush said. 

As he looks at the charred remains, he says he’ll turn his concerns to action.

“That does make you rethink things, I guess.”​​​​​​​

Officials tell 8 News Now the cause of the fire was electrical.

If you live in a rural area, you can get a sprinkler system in your home, install a fire hydrant, or have a tank of water on your property to prevent a fire from spreading.

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