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Firefighters left low on water during Cyril blaze

Cyril_On Monday night a fire broke out in Cyril causing extensive damage to the Scoggins Furniture Store.  The flames spread to the vacant grocery store next door, and A nearby motel, The Huckleberry Inn, was evacuated because of heavy smoke.  As of Tuesday, the fire department was still putting out hot spots that continued to burn.

In a rural town such as Cyril, the water supply comes from a constant feed fed from the water district's supply into the water towers; but Monday's fire was so bad that the city didn't have enough water or water pressure to extinguish the flames.  The fire began at 3 p.m., and by nightfall had consumed the two stores, and at times, the flames were higher than utility poles. 

Superintendent of Public Works, Kenneth Mehringer, says that they did all that they could to help the firefighters by increasing the water pressure, but there wasn't much that could be done.  "The rural water district can only feed us so much pressure," he said.  "We called rural water last night to try and up our pressure, and they already had us at max pressure."

The water towers were also at max capacity totaling about 130,000 gallons, but it still was not enough to fight the blaze.  Reinforcements were called, and dozens of firefighters - including Apache, Fletcher, Cement, and Elgin - arrived with their own water.  Elgin Fire Chief Mike Baker says his department arrived at the scene with 5,000 gallons of water, but they still needed more - 90,000 from Elgin and 60,000 from Fletcher, not including water contributions from other departments. 

Cyril Public Works officials say they don't ever want to get caught short again.  "We will all get together to come up with a plan for the future so that we can better aid that situation, if that situation ever arrives," said Mehringer.  Mayor Tommy Grizzle says he commends everyone who pitched in to help avert more disaster.  "The fire department worked real well last night," he said.  "They did an excellent job.  All of the departments together worked together real well."

One option for Cyril is to add a well that would help with the water pressure so that a problem like this can be prevented in the future.

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