MALVERN, Ala. (WDHN) — James Tyson is concerned with the town of Malvern’s fire protection going forward after a fire destroyed his home on County Road 49 less than two months ago.
He believes the response to save his home could have been better if the closest fire hydrant which was over 2000 feet away from his home wasn’t locked.
“The rumor I had was that they locked it because people were stealing water but the question I had was why wouldn’t they have a key to unlock it in an emergency situation?,” Tyson said.
Tyson , his wife, and two children brand new home caught fire on July 15th after lightning struck the right side of the house.
They had just dropped off the last of their belongings 30 minutes before.
“My wife called and she said lightning hit the house and smelled smoke and we were turning on 49 and we got into the driveway and they were coming out,” Tyson said. “It was wild I don’t wish it on anybody.”
Tyson said multiple surrounding fire departments helped put the fire out the best way they could at the time. He said the town of Malvern was supposed to put a fire hydrant much closer — at the halfway point of County Road 49 between County Road 74 and Highway 52 but the town refused to.
“A lot of them from different departments said it’s supposed to be a fire hydrant close due to the new development but they refused to put one in,” He said. “I don’t know if it would have saved my house but it would have helped my concern would be that if it happened to one of my neighbors it would be the same situation.”
Since Tyson and his family’s new home was a total loss, they have spent the last two months trying to get back on their feet. They have raised over $10,000 with the help of family and friends and have just moved into a rental house.
They are working on a new set of plans and finalizing things with their insurance company so they can start rebuilding on the same exact land later this year.
“I just want something to be done right and do it the right way to begin with and then you won’t have questions later on,” He said.