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Most property owners clear hydrants of snow

MANCHESTER — It covers forest and field, driveway and walkway, street and steeple.And at times, this winter’s snow blankets fire hydrants.

Manchester fire officials say they receive one or two complaints a year about fire hydrants on private property — such as shopping centers or apartment complexes — that get buried in snow.

“Obviously, you know how New England weather is. Back to back snowstorms make it challenging,” said city firefighter Peter Lennon, who works with the department’s Fire Prevention Office.People who don’t clear hydrants on their property are subject to a $50 fine. But Lennon said most property owners are cooperative when the Fire Department contacts them and asks them to clear their hydrants.

That apparently happened last week. He confirmed that the department recently received a complaint about a snow-covered hydrant on the South Willow Street property where a Planet Fitness is located.

Lennon said the Fire Department contacted Planet Fitness. Earlier this week, hydrants on the property were clear of snow.

“Planet Fitness takes these inquiries seriously and as a result, we’ve contacted the landlord to ensure that the hydrant is accessible at all times,” said McCall Gosselin, director of public relations for the Planet Fitness corporate offices in Newington.Meanwhile, Manchester Water Works is in charge of clearing most fire hydrants in the city, which are located on public rights of way. Fire Chief Jim Burkush said Water Works does a good job. But just in case a hydrant gets buried, fire trucks have maps that delineate the location of all hydrants.

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