Friends' Ice Rink Draws Cold Response

Four friends built a backyard ice rink with water from a school fire hydrant

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Four friends built a backyard ice rink with water from a school fire hydrant. (Published Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011)

    If you build it, they will come.

    In the case of four friends who created a near regulation-size ice rink with water from a fire hydrant, "they" was the Tinley Park Police.

    A Tinley Park High School custodian called police Sunday night after a fire hose was seen hooked up to a hydrant on school property. Officers followed the hose through a wooded area to a 91 by 43-foot, partially frozen ice rink in a resident's backyard.

    Tony Nelin and Timmy Ryan, both 20, were handed citations for tampering with a fire hydrant and a Jan. 26 court date. They could have to pay for the 26,000 gallons used from the hydrant to help create the rink. That amounts to about $130.

    "We just wanted to do something productive for the winter instead of sit on the couch and play video games," said Nelin.

    "If we had known we could ask permission, we would have done that," said another friend, Jake Maas.

    The group, four hockey lovers, said they got permission to build the rink in the backyard and then borrowed 250 feet of fire hose from a firefighter they know. Nelin said they partially filled the rink last week using water from the house and used the hydrant Sunday for a couple hours.

    Did they learn a lesson from the whole incident?

    "Yeah do a little research before we started putting things together," Maas said. "If we knew we could have paid for the water in the first place we would have done that and avoided the tickets and the trouble."

    Tinley Park allowed them to keep the rink because it doesn't require a building permit. And from now on they'll split the water bill until the rink freezes over.