While fire officials hope it won't be needed, a new surplus water tank installed Tuesday has made the Oak Glen Community a safer place to live.
According to Jim Dawson, operations chief for the Fall Branch Volunteer Fire Department, the nearest hydrant to the area used to be four miles away. Located off Horton Highway, Oak Glen contains more than 200 homes, and witnessed a fire fatality in the mid-90s.
But with Wednesday's placement of a 10,000 gallon tank into the ground at Oak Glen Community Center, firefighters will now have quick and easy access to water supplies.
Dawson theorized that as an added bonus, local residents may also be able to get a reduction in their homeowners' insurance.
"We had to shuttle all our water in if we had fires," Dawson said, noting Oak Glen has seen two structure blazes the past couple years. Each were sparked by lightning.
The project, which has been a year in the making, could have cost Fall Branch Volunteer Fire Department about $10,000. But, thanks to several local companies chipping in, the price tag's total was only around $2,000.
The Oak Glen Community Center donated not only money, but also the land for installation. This enabled the fire department to avoid formulating contracts and access arrangements with a private land owner.
Mark's Grading and Landscaping in Fall Branch provided excavation of the water tank's hole with a front-end loader , and removal of dirt with dump trucks.
Kingsport's American Environmental LLC transported the water tank free of charge. They also cleaned the tank, which was bought by fire department from a farm in Sullivan Gardens.
CLICK THE BOX BELOW for a video report from the scene.
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