City where 3 children died has been fighting for water for years

TAMINA, Texas (KTRK) -- In the small town of Tamina, there is intense heartbreak over the loss of three children in a morning fire Friday.

But there's also concern among residents.

Tamina is a small community of only about 200 families. It's been around since 1871. It's surrounded by communities that are prospering.

It was ABC13's Marvin Zindler who helped bring running water to the town. That was in 1971.

But Tamina doesn't have sewer service or water lines big enough to support fire hydrants. And people who live in Tamina are worried about next time and tired of waiting.

James Leveston, Sr. has lived here for decades. He's fought for the community and is a longtime official with the city's water authority.

Friday, he went up the few blocks from his house to see what had happened.

"It was all I could do to keep from crying," Leveston said.

A hydrant may not have helped in Friday's fire, the flames were moving too fast, officials said. But it couldn't have hurt, either.

"By the time the first patrol car pulled up minutes after dispatch, we had the whole second floor fully involved and starting to collapse," Montgomery County Fire Marshall Jimmie Williams said. "Really there's no difference even with a fire hydrant sitting in the front yard."

Over the years, plans to bring water and hydrants have come together and fallen through, for a variety of reasons. We found documents as far back as 1999 showing the concern over hydrants.

The concern remains today.

"I know the wheels turn slow, but we are going to get it," Leveston said.

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