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  1. #1
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    Default Wake em up or not?

    http://www.firehouse.com/topics/care...ter-fatal-fire

    DUNWOODY, Ga. --



    DeKalb County fire officials refused to answer CBS Atlanta's tough questions Tuesday about a deadly fire that might have been prevented.

    The body of Ann Bartlett, 74, was discovered on Sunday morning in the rubble of her Dunwoody home.

    Fire officials acknowledge that units responded to a 1:03 a.m. 911 call in which the caller reported a fire on Houghton Court. According to DeKalb County's Public Safety Director William Z. Miller, firefighters left when they found no signs of a fire.

    In a statement, Miller said that at 6:40 a.m., firefighters responded to another 911 call reporting a fire in the same area. When firefighters arrived that time, Bartlett's home was engulfed in flames.

    Miller has placed four fire officials on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

    "I don't know the rules, but seems like with a 911 call, that's an emergency call. And you start pounding on doors and maybe trying to get in the house," said Tom Brooks, who lives next door.


    Not gonna argue if anything was right or wrong with the call, I wasn't there.
    Just wondering, if you get a call for an "unknown fire" or "possible fire", 1 call only, no visible fire reported, do you start knocking on doors at 0100 hrs?
    Say it's smell of smoke in the vicinity, you wakin people up?
    Seems like the citizen thought someone should have started knockin on doors, but not sure we would have.
    Curious what others would do?

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    Similiar situation in my old VFD about 10 years ago.

    About 0200, we get toned out for a report of a structure fire in a neighborhood from a pay phone. No specific address.

    We arrive. No smoke or any indications of a fire. After about 30 minutes of searching, we find nothing and call it unfounded.

    About 0330 we get called out to the same neighboorhood for a report of smoke. No specific address.

    We find the structure. Put it out. Almost no contents.

    Turns out the cops find pick up the woman who lived there. Charged her with arson. Apprently she made the first call then took off.

    In this case, it's an interesting question as what to do on the original call.

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    You gotta be kidding me. It took 5 and a half hours before the house was actually fully engulfed? WTF?

    Hell, you arrive on scene, and you check the area. If you are wide awake and can't see fire, can't see smoke, and can't smell a fire what in the hell are you supposed to do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    [url]
    Not gonna argue if anything was right or wrong with the call, I wasn't there.
    Just wondering, if you get a call for an "unknown fire" or "possible fire", 1 call only, no visible fire reported, do you start knocking on doors at 0100 hrs?
    Say it's smell of smoke in the vicinity, you wakin people up?
    Seems like the citizen thought someone should have started knockin on doors, but not sure we would have.
    Curious what others would do?

    In this particular case, I'd really like to find the person who originally called 911 and find out what they were seeing or smelling.

    In general, I don't know that there is 1 easy answer. I wouldn't go knocking on everyone's door in the middle of the night if there were no signs of smoke or fire from that particular structure (unless the 911 call originated from that house or the 911 caller relayed information about that specific address).

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    Five hours between a first report and an observable house fire. That sounds suspicious.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    This is something we know in a rural area. If you seem to be in the right place and can't find anything, have dispatch contact the original caller.

    At the same time, should that even be necessary? If your neighbor's house is on fire and you've called it in to 911, why on this green earth would you not come and meet the fire department? "Hey, it's around the corner here. The lady is 74 years old and lives alone." COMMON SENSE!!

    I have NEVER responded to a reported structure fire and found neither a fire NOR a reporting party to clarify the location, in cases where there actually was a fire. In fact, finding neither is a rootin' tootin' good sign of a malicious false.

    Story doesn't add up, and while their actions might not have been perfect, there is definitely blame to lay somewhere besides the FD. The time frame is wacky.
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    Response to a general vicinity for a possible fire probably had call originate from a cell phone user. They probably did not wait in the area to direct the fire department to what they saw. I don't think anyone did anything wrong. Check the area. No fire, no smoke, no odor return in service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    http://www.firehouse.com/topics/care...ter-fatal-fire

    DUNWOODY, Ga. --



    DeKalb County fire officials refused to answer CBS Atlanta's tough questions Tuesday about a deadly fire that might have been prevented.

    The body of Ann Bartlett, 74, was discovered on Sunday morning in the rubble of her Dunwoody home.

    Fire officials acknowledge that units responded to a 1:03 a.m. 911 call in which the caller reported a fire on Houghton Court. According to DeKalb County's Public Safety Director William Z. Miller, firefighters left when they found no signs of a fire.

    In a statement, Miller said that at 6:40 a.m., firefighters responded to another 911 call reporting a fire in the same area. When firefighters arrived that time, Bartlett's home was engulfed in flames.

    Miller has placed four fire officials on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

    "I don't know the rules, but seems like with a 911 call, that's an emergency call. And you start pounding on doors and maybe trying to get in the house," said Tom Brooks, who lives next door.


    Not gonna argue if anything was right or wrong with the call, I wasn't there.
    Just wondering, if you get a call for an "unknown fire" or "possible fire", 1 call only, no visible fire reported, do you start knocking on doors at 0100 hrs?
    Say it's smell of smoke in the vicinity, you wakin people up?
    Seems like the citizen thought someone should have started knockin on doors, but not sure we would have.
    Curious what others would do?

    Seems that someone must have placed the call, you need to find out who. I'm pretty sure most sane people would understand the need to be awoken if explained properly. "Sir, we received a 911 call from the neighborhood and are checking to make sure everything is alright." With the facts that are given this sounds like a dereliction of duty.

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    show up, look around, if you can't find flames, smoke, odor of smoke, or a caller after canvasing the neighborhood go back in service. Knocking on doors is a waste

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    We get this all the time, even with alarm systems. (Sometimes our "Alarm Systems" are passersby who thought they heard something.) If we're directed to a street, a particular block or intersection, we'll go, sniff, look, listen. If not given a specific address, or other cause, we wouldn't go banging on doors at random. Certainly wouldn't try to make entry as the civilian expects. Even if given a specific address, sniff, look, listen. Knock on door. If no answer, and no signs of smoke/fire, no attempt at entry.

    Even with automated alarm systems, if no signs of smoke/fire, and no means to gain regular entry, we leave it be.

    Before leaving, we'll ask for further info from dispatch. 90, maybe 99% "One call from cell phone, no caller on the line." Our calls go through police 911 first, so they'll tell the PD "there's a fire on Main St." but hang up when they get transfered to the fire operator.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Hard to second guess without knowing how much they investigated.

    We would check the street, other streets in the area and have dispatch try to contact the caller. Other than that, I don't know that we would go around the neighborhood knocking on doors. We might knock on the door at the address if we were given a specific address and go around looking in windows if necessary.

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    In this day and age of cell phones we get a fair number of calls reporting smell of smoke, smoke in the "distance" etc....we go and check the area, if nothing obvious we try to have 911 call back the caller so we can meet with them but often they are miles away by then. So to answer your question, we respond and check area and if we see/smell nothing we go home....no we do not start knocking on doors.

    As far as this incident, doesnt pass the smell test (no pun intended)....dont see how original call is related to a fully involved dwelling 5 1/2 hours later....if they checked area and found nothing I doubt the later fire was active during this earlier call. Could the first call be an unrelated coincidence ?

  13. #13
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    Post Hmmm..............

    If we arrive at an address or an intersection, etc. and find nothing, our first action is to ask the Dispatcher to contact the Caller and get more info and/or have them come out to show us what the problem is. If that doesn't work, we look the area over good, still nothing, we return......... Beating on Doors without a good reason like a strong Smoke odor, can cause a lot of grief for everyone.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    With the facts that are given this sounds like a dereliction of duty.
    Wow, seems a little strong there.
    If they had a call from address 1234 main street saying the house at 1235 main street was on fire, and they just drove by at 30mph, yes, that might need a little improvement.
    But if ya get a cell phone call saying smell of smoke in the air of such and such area, I dont think knocking on 10 people's doors is the right thing to do.

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    Default Call came from home

    The 1 am call came from a land line at the residence that burned. Victim was found in the garage. I live behind the home in question and do not have ALL of the facts, but it does not look good so far.

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    Some jobs come in where it just goes "sideways", and you know it from the start, even if you don't recognize it. Possible that happened here?

    I'm thinking of one job in particular, came in as "13th and 14th Sts." Duh, they run parallel, does not exist. That box is recalled, and another immediately sent for "1300 S. 14th St." Ok, that makes some more sense. Companies arrive, nothing showing. Reported to be smoke in the area, no caller online. Area checked, nothing to be found. An hour later box comes out for "1314 S. 14th St." Ok , find a minimal amount of fire up in the barge board/roof area. Could've P'd on it. Area checked further, including inside each exposure, nothing else showing. Companies take up. Three or four hours later, box struck for "1318 S. 14th St." Companies arrive to find the roof, 3rd floor, and maybe 2nd well involved. Best guess is that the original call was for 1318, but it never showed itself until much later, even skipping over the one exposure (1316) to set off 1314. Had it been right next door, likely would have been found on the first working box. One of those things that makes you look stupid, but you did everything right.

    * - 14th St. does not exist, house numbers and street name changed to protect the guilty. I was not on these assignments, listening at the watch desk.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    I came across this site while looking for information on the investigation. I realize that I have no place on this forum, but thought that I might shed what little light I have on the subject. Just remember that when you respond it is someone's neighbor, family or friend. Just had to put my two cents in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    With the facts that are given this sounds like a dereliction of duty.
    Please explain why you have determined a "dereliction of duty" with what little information that was in the first 7 posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobson Marjorie View Post
    I came across this site while looking for information on the investigation. I realize that I have no place on this forum, but thought that I might shed what little light I have on the subject. Just remember that when you respond it is someone's neighbor, family or friend. Just had to put my two cents in.
    Do you have enhanced 911 in your community? That is, if you dial 911, is there an immediate computer readout of your name, address, & phone number at the 911 center without you speaking a word?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobson Marjorie View Post
    I came across this site while looking for information on the investigation. I realize that I have no place on this forum, but thought that I might shed what little light I have on the subject. Just remember that when you respond it is someone's neighbor, family or friend. Just had to put my two cents in.
    Most of us live in the communities we serve. I know over the years I have responded to family and friends more than once.
    Please before you assume the firefighters did not do their jobs have all the facts in hand. Right or wrong there will be few, if any, that will feel as bad as these firefighters when it is said and done. Like you said "I do not have all the facts".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Seems that someone must have placed the call, you need to find out who. I'm pretty sure most sane people would understand the need to be awoken if explained properly. "Sir, we received a 911 call from the neighborhood and are checking to make sure everything is alright." With the facts that are given this sounds like a dereliction of duty.
    Sir there are no "facts" other than unconfirmed reports form one publication. If you are a firefighter, as you report, do you not find it strange that it took over 5 hour from the time of the first report to the second?

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    As I said, I really do not belong on this site as it is for firefighters. Yes, we do have enhanced 911. I have no knowledge of fact other than that it is documented that the first call at 1am was from the land line of the address where the fire occured. I have heard specualtion beyond that, but nothing that I can state as fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobson Marjorie View Post
    As I said, I really do not belong on this site as it is for firefighters. Yes, we do have enhanced 911. I have no knowledge of fact other than that it is documented that the first call at 1am was from the land line of the address where the fire occured. I have heard specualtion beyond that, but nothing that I can state as fact.
    Marjorie please do not feel you are not welcome here, but there are reasons we question when the fire started, especially taking 5 hours.
    Here is a film that will illustrate what I mean.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GMhfLamERc

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    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 01-29-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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