Earlier this week, firefighters lost precious time when the hydrant closest to a burning house didn't work. That hydrant is now up and running, but neighbors are still concerned. City officials say they are still not sure who was responsible for turning the hydrant's water valve off, or why it wasn't turned back on. City officials say the only people authorized to turn the water valve off are city employees, and they only do that if a repair is requested by the fire department, or if a developer gets a work order to have the valve shut off. The deputy fire marshal says the hydrant was checked within the last six months and was working fine. City officials say there is no record of the city ever turning this valve off, so whoever did it was not authorized to do so. Neighbor Tom Walsh said, "I hope this is a lesson learned. I feel sorry for the people who lost their home. It's a terrible, terrible situation." Sity officials say because there is no way to track who turned off the valve, or when, there is nothing they can do. Officials say the only thing that can be done to prevent this from happen again is to make sure anyone tampering with a fire hydrant is a city employee. If you see anyone working on a hydrant that is not with the city notify the Wilmington Fire Department at 910-341-7846.
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