Fire hydrant flushing is a routine practice for the FDNY, but fire officials reported Friday that they found something other than water inside a Bronx hydrant.
FDNY personnel were flushing a hydrant while working at the corner of Morris Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx on Friday morning around 10 a.m. when they discovered a firearm inside the hydrant.
A spokesperson from the NYPD told the Bronx Times that as of Friday afternoon officials aren’t sure what kind of gun was inside, noting that it was heavily rusted and had missing parts.
In an interview Friday, a spokesperson for the FDNY said that while it’s unusual to find weapons inside of fire hydrants, officials often find debris, litter and foreign objects lodged in them.
Sometimes the caps of the hydrants come unscrewed, or people unscrew the caps themselves, the spokesperson said.
“I don’t know why any human being would do it,” they said. “Don’t stick things in fire hydrants.”
Flushing hydrants is a regular occurrence. According to the FDNY spokesperson, fire personnel are supposed to rinse out hydrants before they attach their equipment to them every time. That’s to ensure that debris, litter and apparently sometimes weapons, don’t jam up their equipment, as well as to ensure the hydrant is working properly before it’s used.
The FDNY spokesperson said flushing happens “thousands” of times per day across New York City. But if hydrants are left open without a sprinkler cap, they can waste up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute — using as much water in one hour as a family of four does in a year — according to the FDNY Foundation.
The NYPD is investigating how the firearm ended up in the fire hydrant, the agency said.
Clarification: This story was updated on June 12 to specify that routine fire hydrant flushing does not waste the amount of water that leaving a hydrant open without a sprinkler cap does.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes