NBC Washington has video of the house that caught fire and was pretty much destroyed on Chain Bridge Road. In the video a neighbor asserts that the fire started on a corner of the porch and might have been contained if not for a lack of water for fire crews to use. One hydrant was out of service and others lacked sufficient water pressure.
It’s been almost two years since this issue caught local attention with a fire in Adams Morgan and another at the Georgetown Library. At the same time where was news of huge numbers of out of service hydrants. Two years ago WASA claimed they were ahead of schedule on testing out-of-service hydrants and would start a five-year program of replacement.
Perhaps we’re just continuing a local tradition of a disaster following an award. Catoe gets a commendation for being a transit leader and we have a horrible metro crash shorly thereafter. Less than two weeks ago WASA received an award for their innovative use of technology in managing water hydrants and we subsequently discover that several don’t work well.
WASA and Mayor Fenty will surely be fielding some hard questions about why this problem persists two years later.