HUDSON, Ohio - Mountains of snow have left fire officials here requesting help from homeowners digging out hydrants.
In residential communities across Northeast Ohio, snow that has been plowed from streets, sidewalks and driveways has accumulated along tree lawns. In some cases, it has completely concealed hydrants.
Telling residents "When fighting fires, minutes count," the city of Hudson is appealing to residents to do themselves and their neighbors a favor, and help make fire hydrants more easily accessible.
Bill Carroll has already followed their advice.
"We walk these sidewalks all the time with our dogs and we go, 'Well, where is the plug down here?' And we couldn't locate it," Carroll said.
"I think its important because you hear too many stories about fire departments responding to fires and discovering that they either can't locate the fire hydrant or it's encrusted in ice. And therefore, that causes a delay in the fire response and could lead to a loss of life," Carroll said.
Fires are generally believed to double in size every minute. Hudson is telling its residents that blocked hydrants can make a bad situation even worse.
Hudson was among the departments that assisted in nearby Cuyahoga Falls last Thursday when fire consumed a single-story home. Several of the closest hydrants were frozen, forcing departments to shuttle water in tankers over a two-mile round trip from the nearest functioning hydrant.