Fishy situation: Aylesford firefighters find clogged dry hydrant at fire scene

Kirk Starratt
Published on March 8, 2016

Aylesford firefighters were surprised to find their dry hydrant clogged with fish when attempting to pump water to fight a grass fire.

©Kirk Starratt

AYLESFORD - If members of the Aylesford Fire Department thought something was fishy when they couldn’t draw water to fight a grass fire, they were right.

Chief Shawn Carey said his department responded to its first grass fire of the season March 8 at around 10:44 a.m. on Aylesford Road. Crews set up a pumper at a nearby pond to fill their tankers. As the first truck was being filled, the crew noticed they were having difficulty drawing water.

“We went to suck the water out and the fish came with it,” Carey said. “It took us a while to figure out what the problem was.”

Firefighters removed the suction line from the dry hydrant to check the gaskets and look for foreign material. They were shocked to find it clogged with fish.

“We definitely had to take a second look,” Carey said.

Carey said they appeared to be catfish of some sort. He said nothing like this has ever happened to one of his fire crews before and they were quite surprised.

He said the crew reversed the flow of water from the truck to the pond and the fish went back in to the water. Another try at pumping water was successful.

The chief  said the dry hydrant wasn’t damaged. Carey said the necessary screens were in place.

Carey said a Facebook post about the fish find would be remove because of negative comments.

Aylesford firefighters were able to extinguish the fire. Carey said a small area burned, but the fire was stubborn and crews were on the scene for a couple of hours.