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Woman calls Team 10 after spotting fire hydrant covered by brush

'This just looks dangerous to me'
Posted: 6:16 PM, Jun 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-07 02:29:30Z

Marcia Mengel walks several miles through Pacific Beach neighborhoods each week, but the path she's been treading along Felspar Street has her more than a little concerned. 

That's because of the fire hydrant on the corner of Felspar and Olney that's hidden by plants and trees.

She took pictures of the hydrant and sent them to Team 10, hoping we could get something done to make the hydrant more accessible.

"It just doesn’t look like a fireman could get to the hydrant to connect his hose to it.," she said, noting that firefighters might have to cut through the brush to use it. “The valuable time they spend trying to get to the hydrant, how much of the house is burning down?" she asked. "I mean it’s just scary to me.”

Team 10 spoke to a man who said his grandmother owns the property, but had never heard a peep from the city about keeping the area around it clear of obstructions.

Jamie O'Connor lives right across the street. He told Team 10 in the six years of living there, he's never noticed the fire hydrant because it was always hidden by brush. O'Connor's house was built in 1948. "It would go up in seconds," he said. 

O'Connor said he planned to write a letter to the City of San Diego demanding the brush be cleared away in the name of safety.

His letter won't be necessary.

We contacted the Fire Department which told us to call San Diego Public Works, which is responsible for all 25,000 fire hydrants in the city limits. Each hydrant is inspected by city crews and painted every three years.

Within hours of our call, a crew was dispatched to check the fire hydrant. They cleared the area of the brush that had gotten out of hand since the last time the hydrant was inspected in April of 2015.

A city spokesman told Team 10 property owners are responsible for keeping the area around fire hydrants clear. If they don't, the city can take enforcement action, although that rarely happens.

If you see a problem with a fire hydrant, you can call San Diego's Department of Public Works, or log on to https://www.sandiego.gov/get-it-done