Some 300 fire hydrants have been broken or vandalized across France as people try to beat the summer’s record high temperatures.
As temperatures topped 35 degrees across the Paris region of Île-de-France, numerous roadways flooded after hydrants were transformed into geysers, BFMTV reported.
In Plaine Saint-Denis neighborhood in the Paris suburbs, fire hydrants were left open for much of Sunday night and Monday morning
“This lasts for more than a week now,” said one Plaine Saint-Denis resident. “A group of young people come with a wrench and open fire hydrants.”
“For them it’s funny, there’s water coming out, they’re cooling off, except that …. It’s still vandalism,” another added.
Average temperatures across the region hit 22.3 degrees Celsius, according to La Chaine Meteo. A previous record average of 21.9 degrees Celsius was set in 1922.
Paris firefighters were forced to remind the public that fire hydrants are used to extinguish fire, not for recreational purposes.
“Refreshing with the hydrants [is] a bad idea! Fire hydrants are for the safety of everyone and are reserved for firefighters!” Paris firefighters said in a statement.
In Lyon, violence erupted on the streets after firefighters clashed with a group who had been asked to stop their activities. A number of projectiles were thrown at emergency services, local media reported.