SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The Town of Speedway is asking for the community’s help after officials said some of its fire hydrants were “vandalized.”
Fire Chief Bob Fishburn said the damage was a result of people stealing water from the hydrants.
The town’s Clerk-Treasurer Jacob Blasdel said there have been at least two incidents in the last month of people tampering with fire hydrants, one of which resulted in $15,000 in damage.
Chief Fishburn said one of the incidents involved a landscaping company that was not authorized to use the water.
“People who aren’t trained to do that can cause damage to not only the hydrant but the water main system,” Bargersville Deputy Chief Mike Pruitt said.
Town officials from Speedway said they were available for an interview on Friday. However, Pruitt said he’s seen a similar tampering situation before.
“People like to open up these fire hydrants in the neighborhoods a lot of the times,” Pruitt said. “It’s fun to play in when it’s hot, but again you’re using a commodity that a utility company is selling.”
In Speedway’s case, the unauthorized use caused the pin valve to snap, according to Chief Fishburn. Both Fishburn and Pruitt said when firefighters are battling a blaze, a damaged hydrant can have dangerous consequences.
“There’s no worse feeling than pulling up on the scene of a fire and reporting over the radio that the hydrants aren’t working,” Pruitt said. “That delays our response and the fire grows if we don’t have that water to support our firefight.”
Town officials said they are asking residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.
“If it’s after midnight and somebody is out there on a hydrant, you may want to report that,” Pruitt said.
The town’s code enforcement department said at this point it has not issued any citations and no arrests have been made.
If you see any suspicious activity, you can contact the Speedway Police Department at (317)-246-4343.