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Fire Chief Calls For Changes On Dumbarton Bridge

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Chopper 5 Dumbarton bridge, fire, crash,

Firefighters around the flaming wreckage of a car and big rig on the eastbound lanes of the Dumbarton Bridge, February 22, 2011.

MENLO PARK (KCBS) – A local fire chief is renewing his call on the need for water on the Dumbarton Bridge, this after a fiery crash on Tuesday morning that snarled traffic for hours.

Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said there could have been a major inferno if Tuesday’s crash had involved a gas tanker rather than a big rig.

That’s because there is only one hydrant on the span and it’s located on a frontage road beneath the bridge. Schapelhouman said Caltrans is dragging its feet when it comes to the issue.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“They need to, at the very minimum, attach a riser onto the hydrant on the Menlo Park side to at least give us one point of water supply,” he said. “Ideally, over a 2-3 mile section, we’d love to have more than one point of water access on the bridge. It doesn’t do Fremont any good coming the other direction, it doesn’t do you any good on the top, it’s a long way to go. We don’t have enough hose to lay out a line that long.”

Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said plans are to relocate that hydrant as part of the seismic retrofit of the bridge.

“We’re going to be putting that hydrant on the bridge proper and that will expedite the process of refilling the fire trucks as they’re out there,” said Haus.

But that plan would still leave only one hydrant on the bridge.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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