By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Dec 4: For the past few months, the residents of Lorong Pisang Barat 9 feared that the fire hydrant on their street had either gone missing or were buried underneath the new tarred road.
Their worries became reality when the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), upon investigation, discovered that one of the hydrants had indeed been buried by contractors who had recently completed a drainage upgrading project, rendering this vital fire safety measure totally inaccessible.
One of the residents Eric Tay, 77, had contacted DayakDaily seeking help as he and fellow neighbours had been concerned about the missing hydrant.
“For years, we had this bright red hydrant standing in front of my house. We’d always felt safe and secure. After the drainage upgrading construction work, the spot where the hydrant used to stand is gone,” Tay alleged.
Tay said he had been on the case for months, from contacting the local council to Bomba.
“I’ve made several calls to the local council but all of my pleas had fallen on deaf ears. Upon contacting Bomba, some of the officers immediately came to check. I am grateful to their attentiveness and concern as well.
“However, I was told by the officers that the hydrant has been buried underneath,” he said, lamenting that he and other residents would be left vulnerable in the case of a fire, as firefighters would have to spend valuable response time looking for another fire hydrant.
“It seems that the council or its contractor had raised the road level without giving any thought to Bomba regarding the fire hydrant at the site. There was nothing and even if there was one, it was covered in tar, making it impossible to find or even use.”
Tay added that his only hope was for Bomba to assist in pushing the local council to be responsible over their appointed contractor’s recklessness in construction work, destroying an important part of active fire protection. —DayakDaily