Madison, Miss. – The Madison Fire Department rushed to a barn fire on Countryside Cove Friday morning and they have to bring their own water.
“They had to wait until the tanker trucks got here because there is no fire hydrant,” Catherine Lockett, who lives on Countryside Cove, says she’s worked for years to get a fire hydrant installed in her neighborhood. In recent years, the community was annexed by the city of Madison.
“When we first went in to the city limits and we had a meeting, my questions to the mayor was, ‘how long will it take for us to get fire protection.'” She said, ‘under stipulations of going in to the city they had five years. Well it’s been five years we still have no fire protection,'” explains Lockett
According to Madison’s Public Works Director, Whit Hawkins, Countryside Cove is part of the Bear Creek Water Association, therefore it’s not part of the city water usage. Tony McMullen, the association’s manager, would not go on camera with WJTV for an interview. McMullen says they are working to update water lines but the Countryside Cove area won’t be worked on this year.
“I hope this proves to the city, to Bear Creek and to the county that we are paying both county and city tax and we need some fire protection out here,” says Lockett as she looks at her neighbor’s damaged barn.
Madison Fire Chief Derrick Layton says the department has a program in place to identify these areas lacking fire protection. However, Layton can’t install a hydrant at Countryside Cove until the water association upgrades the water pipes from two inches to six.
“I just want them to know that we’d like not to be forgotten down here that we pay quite a bit for our city and county taxes,” adds Lockett.
Chief Layton says the department has three fire trucks plus a three thousand gallon tanker to handle fires in areas like Countryside Cove.