Man gets $1,400 water bill after firefighters use 73,000 gallons of water to extinguish fire

Burned down home of Michael Pietro  
By: John Roberts 

(Scroll down for video) A man was shocked after he received a bill of $1,400 for water that firefighters used to extinguish a fire that burned down his house, according to press reports.

Michael Pietro does not care so much that he got a bill for water firefighters used to fight the fire that destroyed his home in upstate New York. What really bothers him is the amount of $1,400.

"First, I'm not surprised to receive a bill for the water," Pietro said, still shaken by the fire that destroyed his home and all of his belongings in the rural town of Rensselaer County in Brunswick, New York. "What I'm surprised by is the amount of the bill. I know it does not cost the town of Poestenkill $20 per 1,000 gallons," he told news reporters.

Volunteer firefighters who fought the fire had to use water that was trucked in to fight the flames, while the nearest fire hydrant on the street was in the neighboring town of Poestenkill.

Two days after the fire, city officials in Poestenkill sent Pietro a water bill for $1,400. Supervisor Dom Jacangelo said that his town had to pass along the cost because Poestenkill purchase their water from Brunswick and the nearby city of Troy.

Under Poestenkill law, the use of a hydrant costs $20 per 1,000 gallons used. The law also says it costs $40 to use a hydrant for emergency response, but it is unclear if it is a flat rate or it means $40 per 1,000 gallons used.

Jacangelo said firefighters used 73,000 gallons of water knocking down the fire in the house of Pietro that he shared with his wife in the town of about 4,500 inhabitants.
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