Reading, Pa. (WTXF) - We've all seen it, someone parked in front of a fire hydrant. What we all thought was taboo has become something of an epidemic. It's putting families in danger.
Deputy Fire Chief Ronald Banks has been fighting fires in Reading for 25 years and he's noticing a disturbing trend. He took us on a ride to show FOX 29 cars parked directly in front of a fire hydrants in the city.
But what if there was a fire? Like there was a week ago. Clear of cars now, but last week there was a car in front of the hydrant. People were trapped in the home across the street.
Reading firefighters show up to a fire with just 3 to 4 minutes worth of water in their trucks, which means if a hose isn't connected to a hydrant by then the water stops. A car in the way wastes time.
"With the hose hooked into it it's kind of off balance that you don't get the straight hookup like if you do if you're standing in front of it. So it puts a big impact on getting water supply onto the fire," Deputy Fire Chief Banks said.
There have been at least two other cases of cars parked in front of hydrants in recent weeks during fire calls in Reading.
The photos have made their way onto a Reading Fire Facebook page with hundreds of comments.
A blocked hydrant could mean the difference between life and death.
If that's not enough consider this: the fine. Here in Reading, about a hundred bucks if you're within 15 feet of a hydrant.