Merry Christmas: Fire Victim Billed $1400 for Water Used to Fight Blaze

Mike Petrio’s house was consumed by flames last Monday.  Firefighters fought the blaze for nine hours, but the house is likely to be classified as a total loss. 
A few days later, Petrio’s mailbox, one of the few things left intact on his property, brought more bad news – a bill from the city, charging him for the water used to put out the fire.
Via the Times Union: 

… the mailbox at 375 Garfield Road is now full, with a $1,400 bill from the Town of Poestenkill for the water used to combat the blaze that consumed his home on Monday. Petrio lives in the Town of Brunswick and firefighters traveled a mile down the rural road to fill their trucks at a Poestenkill hydrant. 

It took multiple fire companies nine hours to knock down the inferno, Eagle Mills volunteer fire department chief Tom Martin said. The home was set a quarter-mile off the road and flames ripped through the structure. The roof collapsed into the home and the windows blew out. Firefighters set up temporary ponds and zipped down the road to fill their tanker trucks at the best hydrant.

Unfortunately for Petrio, that hydrant happened to be in Poestenkill, which buys its water from Brunswick.

Local media personality,  Al Roney writes, “Talk about kicking a man when he’s down”.
Roney goes on to explain that there is in fact a reason for the billing, but that it really should not have applied in this case.

There’s a reason for the billing, one that in my opinion doesn’t hold any water at all. 

See Poestenkill buys its water from Brunswick and Troy, and Town Supervisor Dom Jacangelo seems to think it’s only fair they try to recoup the money “lost” in gallons of water to help the town’s tax-payers. 

Wrong target Mr. J!  Major misfire. 

Charging this guy for the water used is beyond ludicrous, especially since he has ZERO control over what hydrant, or what water source, is being is used.  Even if he did, it’s still nuts. 

So sorry your house was destroyed, here’s the bill for the water.

Just another heartwarming Christmas present brought to you by a bureaucratic lack of common sense.

New York

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