House fire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fighting house fire causes water leaks in main line

By Rupert Howell

The city of Sardis is under a “boil water alert” after the early Friday morning eruption of several massive leaks to the water main that occurred while the city’s firemen were fighting a house fire at Dewberry and Clairmont.

Sardis vice-mayor Roy Scallorn said he got a call from fire chief Chuck Moore stating the volunteers were having trouble fighting the fire as the fire plug seemed to have broken off at the base. Water was not bubbling up from the break and it was soon learned that there was a serious leak on Main Street at Magnolia then another on Dewberry Street at Magnolia.

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Scallorn also said a gas leak was found in conjunction with the Dewberry leak and firefighters remained on that scene until Entex repaired that problem.

By mid morning Friday one leak was repaired and others had been uncovered. Scallorn said some of the leaks would require parts and the city was getting a full assessment of damage before sending to Memphis for parts so that return trips would not be necessary.

The vice-mayor estimated that water would be flowing again sometime Friday afternoon  and said, “Until we get water flowing, we won’t know if we have more problems or not.”

Scallorn praised both Panola County and the City of Batesville for their assistance.

He said the county had sent help and equipment and that Batesville mayor Jerry Autrey had agreed to send some of his city’s public works employees when they completed a job they had already started.

“We’ve got equipment, what we need is manpower right now,” Scallorn said Friday.

The City of Sardis has applied for a grant that would replace 22 of the city’s fire hydrants and other infrastructure within the water system.

A month ago volunteer firemen were hampered when a fire plug was inoperable because of a stripped valve that regulated the water’s flow causing the  complete loss of several apartments for the elderly.