Things heat up in Fountain Green,
in different ways
By Doug Lowe
FOUNTAIN GREEN—Lately, things have been heating up a bit more than usual in the normally peaceful town of Fountain Green.
For one thing, just two Saturdays ago, the town’s volunteer fire departments set a record response time, at 4 minutes, racing to a burning log cabin home on Center Street near 800 West.
Two different area residents spotted the smoke and called in the alarm almost simultaneously. Councilman Rod Hansen was running by when he noticed smoke that didn’t seem right. And, volunteer fire fighter, Kyler Daybell, was on way to the fire station to rendezvous with Fire Chief Matt Hansen, and other fire department volunteers, to go up north together for a day of training.
So, when the alarm came in, it took only 4 minutes for Fire Chief Matt Hansen to arrive on the scene with equipment and a small crew. “It’s was good we got there so soon, otherwise the whole house would have probably been lost,” reported Chief Hansen.
As it was, the fire proved difficult to put out because it was behind the wood stove insert in the fireplace and outside the stove pipe in the chimney, and was heating up the attic so much that a number of plastic bags, holding stored items in the attic, had melted. A six man crew of volunteer firemen from Moroni, and three from Wales, also came to help.
According to Chief Hansen, the extra helped, which “arrived within 15 to 20 minutes, was needed because they had to break apart a stone façade to get to the logs and timbers burning behind the stone, and implement a procedure he called “vertical ventilation,” which involved cutting a hole in the roof.
An entirely different kind of heat began developing a few months back when Mayor Willard Wood, other council members, and representatives of Jones and DeMille Engineering attended a Planning Commission Meeting to present their plans for the new City Hall and Fire Station to be built on State Street on the southwest the corner of 400 North. In a sense, it was a courtesy visit from a number of the city’s most important elected officials to the important group of volunteer officials serving as the Planning Commission.
Despite good intentions on both sides, things got a bit heated when it became apparent that the city’s plans were more-or-less already set in concrete, and the Planning Commission realized that, as planned, the new City Hall and Fire Station was going to violate the set-back rules that the commission was requiring regular citizens to follow in order to obtain a building permit.
Having heard of the problem, Fountain Green resident, Homer Workman, spoke out in a subsequent city council meeting to ask the question, “Why doesn’t the city have to follow the same rules as everyone else?” The short answer to that question is in state laws that allow local units of government to make exceptions for themselves. So, during it regular, Jan. 16 meeting, Fountain Green City Council declared the kind of emergency needed to comply with state law while ignoring local planning and zoning ordinances.