MISSION, Texas – Multiple fire departments fought a fire in Mission over the weekend that claiming the life of an 11-year-old girl. Tonight, residents are accusing the city of her death, saying one of the leading factors is no fire hydrants in the area.
Colonia resident Imelda Martinez lives across the street from the homes destroyed in the fire. She claims firefighters struggle putting out fires in this neighborhood due to the lack of fire hydrants. She says it’s not the first time it happens. “It’s happened to me before when my home was on fire and there were no fire hydrants. There wasn’t any water and that’s really what we need here.”
She also says fire trucks arrived at the scene with no water and blames them for Verseidy Hernandez’s death saying the extra time they took to get water could’ve saved her life.
County Fire Investigator John David Franz says, “The fire department did not show up without any water. The first truck to show up was an engine company. That’s the truck that has most of the pumps on it that gives everyone the pressure that they need to attack it. It doesn’t carry a lot of water but what showed out directly right after about 10- 15 seconds after was a tanker truck.”
Investigator Franz says multiple agencies from across the county assisted in shuttling water to the scene and drafting water from the irrigation district assuring firefighters attacked the fire aggressively.
“There were times once it started when they shut off the hoses because they needed to reposition themselves to get in a better area for attack. If you guys see the scene behind me what’s really difficult is that the roof had never ventilated it just collapsed and it went down so that was blocking a lot of water from hitting the fire but they did what they could, they worked it hard.”
Officials tell us if residents want fire hydrants placed in this neighborhood they would have to request them from their nearest water supply and pay for them