Snow Makes Fire Worse in Baltimore

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Last night, a fire in Highlandtown damaged five rowhouses. It’s likely that the damage would’ve been much less bad if there hadn’t been several feet of snow on the ground.

The Sun has a great, frustrating account of the attempt by firefighters and neighborhood residents to drag hoses and equipment down Mount Pleasant Street, which had not yet been plowed and was thus unpassable for the fire trucks. City officials say they’re plowing as fast as they can — they’ve even called in equipment from Boston — but the city also has 5,000 miles of streets, and many of them remain covered by snowdrifts.

One thing city residents can do (other than renting their own snowplow and cleaning their streets themselves) is to shovel out fire hydrants. That way, if (god forbid) a fire does become an issue, firefighters can at least be able to easily identify and access the hydrants. Experts recommend clearing the snow three feet around the hydrant in all directions for easier access.

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