Family claims fire crews showed up to fire without a working hose

New Mexico News

VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Fighting a fire with no water, is what a Valencia County couple says happened when crews responded to a fire on their property. The family says they were relieved when crews got on scene, but then confused when they weren’t able to take immediate action.

Amanda Griego says Tuesday afternoon a fire broke out just a few feet from her family’s Valencia County home in their backyard workshop. “This is where our family hung out, spent birthdays, we spend holidays here,” Griego says.

She says the firemen were very unprepared. No water came out of the truck’s hose.

Video shows a firefighter holding a hose toward the fire with no stream. “When they show up you think, ‘ok maybe they can save my building,’ but when they stretch the hose out and all you hear was the winding of the truck and nothing is coming out, you feel helpless, you feel disappointed,” said Griego.

Valencia County Fire Chief Brian Culp says the reason no water came out of the truck was that the pump hadn’t been primed. He says it needs to be primed this time of year.

“The pumps are drained because of the colder weather. They get an early morning call and the drive from the station to the pump can freeze up some of the pumps, so it presents some problems in the winter months,” Culp says.

Culp also says crews were able to clear up the problem and get the hose working.

There were three other departments that responded. Griego says had the first truck been ready, they could have saved half of the workshop. “I hope this brings awareness to better maintaining their trucks and their equipment, especially with the important job that they’re doing,” said Griego.

The fire chief says they have a full-time vehicle technician that does maintenance on each truck at least once a week. The state fire marshal’s office is also investigating the incident. The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.

The family has started a GoFundMe to repair the shed. To donate click here.

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