As frustrating as parking tickets can be, there are some rules that every driver should instinctively know are enforced for a reason. One such law prohibits motorists from parking in front of a fire hydrant.
The driver of a BMW coupe in East Boston apparently thought violating this ordinance wouldn’t actually harm anyone. He was wrong.
In the event of a blaze, access to water is of utmost importance to the brave firefighters sent in to battle it. This is why there are laws against blocking hydrants with parked vehicles. Nevertheless, when a huge fire broke out in Boston earlier this month, first responders found the luxury car parked right in front of the much-needed water source.
Without missing a beat, firefighters busted the car’s front windows and ran the hose through the car, allowing them to battle what became an eight-alarm blaze. When they realized the position of the BMW caused a kink in the hose, several firefighters picked the car up and repositioned it about a foot away.
Boston Fire Department spokesperson Steve MacDonald conceded that many people have been able to laugh at the idea of a self-obsessed driver getting his comeuppance. He warns against taking the situation too lightly, though.
“The general reaction is that some people find humor in it,” he said. “But it’s really a serious situation.”
He called water “the lifeblood of the engine company,” explaining that each fire engine carries only 750 gallons of water.
“With that number of alarms,” he concluded, “every hydrant is important. There is really nothing funny about it.”
The situation, while rare, is not unprecedented, MacDonald noted. While his department tries to protect personal property, the safety of residents and the containment of the fire was a priority over the illegally parked car.
“People always think it will never happen to me,” he said. “But fire is so unpredictable, you just never know when that hydrant is needed.”
The driver received a $100 citation the night before the fire started. The violation, however, soon became far more costly. Hopefully, this lesson will be one this driver won’t soon forget.
“It’s similar to those who park in a handicapped spot,” MacDonald concluded. “It’s just something you don’t do.”
Photo Credit: Facebook/The Boston Globe
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom