JACKSONVILLE Fla.-- A brush fire so vast, and so virulent spanned a mile on the West side this week and knocked on neighbors' doors.
"We were concerned about our homes because it was spreading so fast," said homeowner Steve Parrish.
Meanwhile, just down the road, the nearest brush truck sat still, unstaffed and unable to respond due to budget cuts.
"They were not staffed properly that day," said Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters. "There was not an assigned personnel to the brush truck."
Wyse tells Action News three brush trucks would have been ideal but only one was ready to respond. Instead they turned to neighbors like Steve Parrish and his garden hose.
"He grabbed the garden hose and just pulled it over the fence and was spraying down the fence all along," he said.
Parrish said his pool pump was also put to work.
"Basically we just turned the pump on and used this to spray all this area down," he said.
Wyse says firefighters did the best with what they had and were able to put the fire out, but there's no excuse; the city shouldn't be cutting critical life-saving equipment.
"Whenever you are dealing with public safety it ought to be one of the last things that gets cut," said Wyse.
While Parrish and other neighbors were happy to lend a helping hand, they'd feel a lot safer if the experts had the proper equipment.
"It would have helped for sure," said Parrish.
Jacksonville only had two fully staffed brush trucks after the cuts; one in Mandarin and one in Baldwin but since this week's incident, JFRD has added three more to that roster.