Editorials

editorial

Hydrants: Breaking through the BMW

A fire hose was run through the BMW parked in front of a fire hydrant in East Boston Wednesday.
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
A fire hose was run through the BMW parked in front of a fire hydrant in East Boston Wednesday.
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As if hoping to confirm every stereotype of boorish BMW owners, someone left her or — let’s be realistic — his coupe parked in front of a fire hydrant in East Boston Wednesday night, where it got in the way of firefighters responding to an eight-alarm fire. To tap the hydrant, a group of firefighters had to lift the vehicle by hand, move it slightly, then smash in the windows so they could run a hose through the car.

Although photos of the smashed car circulating on Twitter have provoked a lot of chuckling and schadenfreude, the BMW owner’s thoughtlessness was no laughing matter. Trucks only carry enough water to fight fires for a few minutes, fire officials say, making access to hydrants critical. The fine, only $100, probably isn’t enough by itself to deter the average luxury car owner from future selfishness. Perhaps the repair bill, and citywide social media shaming, will help get the message across.