Man severely burned in Limestone house fire may not survive, family says

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Family members say a man who was severely burned in a house fire near Mooresville earlier this week may not live through the night.

Firefighters had trouble fighting the fire on Tuesday because they say the closest hydrant wasn't working properly.

For Emma and Shandra Thatch, it's been a sleepless two nights.

"If you need to know anything, you can always go to Uncle Bill," John Thatch's great-niece Shandra Thatch said.

"When I got around the curve, I saw all those fire trucks," John's niece Emma Thatch said.

They live around the corner on Pryor Road from where John's home caught fire on Tuesday.

"When they brought him out, I saw they had him on a sheet. They brought him over by the well," Emma said.

"I think we're going to get that news," Shandra said.

They're dreading a phone call from Birmingham where John's now being treated for severe burns.

"I hope he pulls through, but I don't know," Emma said.

Huntsville firefighters say when they showed up to help out, the hydrant closest to Thatch's home wasn't working properly. So they had to go up the road to find the next closest functioning hydrant.

"When they went to it the first time, it should've been working. Instead of jumping to another one," Shandra said.

Huntsville Utilities became the water supplier for Pryor Road at the beginning of July. We asked them about the problem with the hydrant. They tell WHNT News 19:

"We have placed some pressure monitors in the Mooresville area to gather data on pressure and flows. The infrastructure we acquired is most likely in need of improvement and has been for some time."

It was two neighbors who helped John escape the fire. But despite the quick action of firefighters and EMTs, his family says they may soon have to lay their beloved uncle to rest.

Huntsville Utilities spokespeople tell WHNT News 19 they've also contacted Segers Fire Department and Huntsville Fire and Rescue to find out if there are any other problems with water pressure and flow in the area.

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