Woman says water company failed to keep fire hydrant in repair

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 20, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A Charleston woman is suing West Virginia-American Water Company after her house burned down because the fire department could not use the fire hydrant near her home.

On Jan. 23, 2010, Christine Dickson's home caught fire and the Charleston Fire Department was alerted and responded to the scene, according to a complaint filed Jan. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Dickson claims upon responding to the house fire, the fire department was initially not able to locate the fire hydrant in the area because it was overgrown with weeds and brush and not readily visible from the street.

Once the hydrant was located, the fire department accessed the hydrant, however, the hydrant did not have adequate pressure or volume of water to allow the firefighters to attempt to control the blaze or in any way adequately minimize Dickson's loss, according to the suit.

Dickson claims the defendant negligently allowed the fire hydrant to become overgrown with brush and weeds to the extent that it was not readily visible from the street.

The defendant's negligence inhibited the ability of the fire department to perform their job and caused or contributed to the extent of Dickson's loss as a result of the fire, according to the suit.

Dickson is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Shannon M. Bland.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-160

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