Overgrowth covering southwest Atlanta fire hydrant

Neighbors in southwest Atlanta are concerned that overgrowth is obscuring the only fire hydrant on their street.

ATLANTA -- 11Alive News has been reporting on the major overgrowth problem throughout the City of Atlanta, and now there's a property causing a public safety issue.

Four decades later, it's the same old story for 4415 Rolling Hill Road.

"All of us thought the owner was dead," neighbor Issac Oliver said.

It's the story 11Alive has been telling you about for months -- this time with an unfortunate twist.

"I guess they never found the end of the paper trail because it's still standing," Oliver said.

Another house in Southwest Atlanta -- a jungle of weeds, trees, and snakes -- has a public safety issue hidden in the mess.

"As you can see, you can't hardly see it," Oliver said.

He is trying to show everyone a fire hydrant, the only one on his street. The small silver structure can barely be seen, and the blue dot painted on the roadway is covered too.The only reason anyone can see it at all is because of Oliver and his neighbor.

"We did the little clipping around the top," he said.

It's more than a mess; Oliver said it's a public safety he's worried about.

"If there's a fire, that's the only fire hydrant, if there's a fire, the fire department got to ride up and down the street looking for a fire hydrant," he said.

The only answer Oliver can get to his concern is, nothing can be done, at least until a pending court date related to the property and its owner in September is complete.

But Oliver wonders about a possible fire in August, those precious moments when crews arrive on scene, "saving somebody's life or somebody's house from burning down."

Recently Atlanta Code Enforcement Commander James Shaw told 11Alive News he wants residents to hold him and his staff accountable on these overgrowth issues. Oliver has, calling month after month, and yet his fire hydrant is still covered in weeds.

Major Shaw responded to 11Alive this week and said in part, "I'll let the Fire Department know to determine if this hinders their ability to use the hydrant. If so, we'll request assistance from Public Works."

Shaw said the property is headed to court on Sept. 8, and "If the owner can (be) served, it would still need to go to court before we intervened on private property."

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