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Lack of Fire Hydrants in Hidalgo Co. due to Population

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ALTON – A deadly fire near Alton that resulted in an 11-year-old girl’s death; it was revealed there were no fire hydrants in the area.

From a fire hydrant on Mile 11 north in Hidalgo County, it's more than half a mile to the home of Martin Guerrero.

He says he moved his family of five out here to have more space; they call it La Mesa subdivision.

It's a neighborhood that doesn't have public trash service or fire hydrants.

 "Suddenly a fire could happen. They need something to put it out," says Guerrero.

At a press conference Tuesday we asked why some neighborhoods in Hidalgo County don't have fire hydrants.

John Franz, inspector for the Fire Marshal's Office, says right now the county does not have legal authority to enforce residential building codes.

He says, by statute, Hidalgo County can't enforce those rules until the census counts a million people.

"We need a count of how many people live in our county so that we can get those codes implemented. So that we can make sure that we enforce certain codes once they're implemented to make sure we have fire hydrants in residential areas," says Franz.

As of 2018, new construction of subdivisions requires water filling stations within 600 feet; new businesses need one within 300 feet.

Franz says individual homes don't apply under those rules, and neither do subdivisions built before 2018.

For more information watch the video above.

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