NORTH ADAMS — The city's Public Safety Committee has taken up concerns about nonfunctioning fire hydrants after a fire at Greylock Valley Apartments.

According to Councilor Jason LaForest, the committee's chairperson, about 100 hydrants across North Adams are not operational — up to one-fourth of the city’s hydrants.

In a letter to city councilors shared Monday, the Association of Firefighters Local 1781 detailed how an out-of-service hydrant near the building forced firefighters to stretch a supply line to the next available hydrant.

"This resulted in invaluable manpower and time being taken away from the first arriving crew of five firefighters," wrote Matthew LaBonte, the local union president. "The hydrant system has not improved as promised over the last few years. It has continued to decay and puts the lives of our community members at great risk."

Councilors agreed that the repairs needed to be undertaken but pointed out the high expense associated with the task. According to LaForest, each hydrant costs several thousand dollars to replace.

Francesca Paris can be reached at and 510-207-2535.