PROSPECT, Kan. (KSNW) — In the eight years she’s lived in the area, Heather Griffith says she’s never seen a structure fire like the one that destroyed a barn outside El Dorado Wednesday. On the scene were 38 firefighters from 10 different fire departments.

“A volunteer firefighter actually showed up in his POV (personally owned vehicle), got dressed out of the bed of his pickup truck, and ran on foot to the scene because they needed additional help,” Griffith said.

Griffith says she could feel her whole house shake following one of several explosions from the fire three-quarters of a mile away.

“It shook our entire house and was just, like, a massive boom, and I jetted out our back door, and you could immediately see an orange glow,” Griffith said.

Griffith (a former law enforcement officer herself) says she’s never seen such an intense structural fire in Prospect—a township outside El Dorado with few fire hydrants.

“One water tank would come, and within minutes, it was emptied, and they’d have to go back, so they were actually rotating tanks in and out of town,” Griffith said.

“It’s right on the edge of not only the city, but it’s also on the edge of where the water lines serve,” El Dorado City Manager David Dillner said.

Dillner says because Prospect is part of a rural water district, the placement of fire hydrants there is outside the city’s jurisdiction.

“Rural water districts have different standards for where they locate fire hydrants. Some may do so every couple miles,” Dillner said.

Dillner says the City of El Dorado has no current plans to purchase tankers of its own.

“Part of the reason for that is because we have all of these mutual aid agreements, so in the City of El Dorado proper, there’s really not any need to have a tanker in our fleet,” Dillner said.

Griffith says while she believes first responders did everything they could with what they had, she wonders if more could be done to prevent future fires from getting so out of hand.

“When it’s spreading, like, how much more danger are we going to be running into because we don’t necessarily have the water to stop it right here? It kinda raises some curiosity whether or not that is a concern to be raised,” Griffith said.

Dillner says residents of rural water districts can petition their local offices for new fire hydrants. However, a successful petition does not guarantee residents will actually get new ones.

Depending on where you live, you could be paying full price for a hydrant (which could cost thousands of dollars), or if a new service line is needed, it might not provide adequate water pressure to fight a fire this size.