Lavalette PSD responds to fire hydrant concerns

A neighbor says the hydrant issue has her worried over whether firefighters would be successful if they're ever needed at her home.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 12:11 PM EDT
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UPDATE 6/6/23 @ 12:30 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - WSAZ has gotten a response from the Lavalette Public Service District regarding our story Monday about a fire on Pleasant Valley Drive in Huntington.

Firefighters have responded to three fires there since June of 2022. As they were working to contain a fire at the Bare Arms Indoor Gun Range Monday, Barboursville Fire Department Chief Andrew Frazier said the hydrant in the area is “not good,” and it’s on a small line.

Because of that, tankers from several departments, including one from Proctorville, were brought in to help.

Rob Weaver, the construction supervisor with the Lavalette PSD, says that hydrant gets 300 gallons a minute, and the trouble is the line that was installed in the 1960s is only a 4-inch line. He says the hydrant itself works fine.

“The pressure is there, but they don’t have the body of water they need,” Weaver said.

Weaver says upgrading to a 6-inch line would be expensive and require boring under the four-lane 5th Street Hill, and there are no current plans to do so.

“I could do it, I’d just need to know who to send the bill to,” Weaver said.

Weaver says there are two other hydrants across 5th Street Hill firefighters could use as well.

Weaver says they do have two projects beginning this summer upgrading other lines. One of those projects will be in the German Ridge and Haneys Branch areas. The other will be in the Dixon area.

UPDATE 6/5/23 @ 10 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Firefighters responded Monday to an area they knew in advance would present a challenge.

Crews were called to a fire at the Bare Arms Indoor Gun Range in Huntington just before noon.

The owner, William Bare, says workers had been making repairs after a previous fire in June of 2022.

“They were welding and caught some of the rubber on fire,” Bare said. “It got into the roof.”

Crews who’d been there before remembered they weren’t able to get strong pressure from the nearby hydrant.

“We already knew this hydrant is not a good hydrant,” Chief Andrew Frazier with the Barboursville Fire Department said. “It’s on a small line.”

Tankers from several other departments were brought in to help. Firefighters got the flames under control before they spread to the business’s restaurant and store.

WSAZ comfirmed the hydrant is maintained by the Lavalette Public Service District. No one there was available for comment when WSAZ reached out Monday afternoon. We will reach out again Tuesday to see if they can comment on what can be done to address the issue.

On April 21, another business close by on Pleasant Valley Drive wasn’t so fortunate. A building owned by Richwood Investment Castings was destroyed in a fire.

Paulette Ross lives across the street from where that occurred.

“When they hook up to the fire hydrant, there’s no water pressure,” Ross said. “It’s almost like a household water hose is all that’s coming out of there.”

Ross says the hydrant issue has her worried about how successful firefighters would be if they’d ever be needed at her home.

“If one of our houses catches on fire, it’s pretty much going to go, because there’s no water pressure,” Ross said. “I hope whoever is in charge will do something and come out here and take this seriously.”

Bare says they were hoping to reopen their gun range in July. He says this fire will likely push that back to August. Their restaurant and store were able to reopen Monday afternoon.


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Emergency crews responded to Bare Arms Indoor Gun Range on Monday morning following a welding incident that sparked a fire, according to fire officials.

Multiple fire departments responded to the scene along 5th Street Road.

Firefighters told some rubber caught on fire as crews were working at the range. The owners say the repair work being done was following a previous fire that happened at the business in June of 2022.

Crews battle fire at gun range

Part of the roof was damaged but the restaurant at the business and showroom were not impacted by the flames.

Crews say both Bombshells, Burgers and BBQ and the showroom will be open on Monday evening after the scene has been cleared by emergency crews.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Firefighters are responding to Bare Arms indoor range and restaurant after reports of a fire.

Multiple units are responding to the 2100 block of 5th Street Road where the range and restaurant is located.

Emergency crews are in the process of blocking that section of 5th Street Road.

Further information has not been reported at this time.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.