Fire victims upset about malfunctioning hydrant

In the midst of the damage left in the wake of a Saturday house fire in Sunset, Arkansas, Sam Christianson found his deceased father's gold ring.  That, and a few pictures, was all he and his girlfriend's family could salvage from the fire that destroyed their home.

"It's totally gone.  There is nothing left," said fire victim Janet Manes.  "Me and my kids, we have nothing.  We are staying in a hotel right now."

The fire also damaged homes on both sides of the house.  Family members said they were most disturbed by a non-functional fire hydrant on their street.  When firefighters arrived at the blaze Saturday night, the hydrant wasn't working.

"These spickets are here to put fires out," Christianson said. "They are not working.  The only thing I could describe it as is crappy."

Woody Weeless, Chief of the Marion Fire Department, said Christianson's statements were understandable.

"Yes they should be disappointed," Weeless said. "Anybody should be disappointed. When they got a hydrant or numerous hydrants in your community, you want to make sure that they are functioning properly, and in this case we couldn't get it open."

Weeless said the Marion Fire Department responded to the fire at home even thought the fire was actually in the nearby city of Sunset.   Weeless and other Crittenden county officials told me Sunset is responsible for that non working hydrant.

As of the time this article was posted, Sunset Mayor Kirby Massey was unavailable for comment.