Ga. FFs on Leave After Fatal Fire

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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.

Brooks’ wife Kim disputes the timeline authorities gave reporters. She said she placed a 911 call long before 6:40 a.m.

“When I called at 6 o’clock, they said they’re on the scene. And I screamed in the phone. It’s recorded that no they’re not. And it was a full 15 to 20 minutes before the fire department every showed up,” she said.

Elaine Boyer is the DeKalb County Commissioner who represents Dunwoody. CBS Atlanta’s Rebekka Schramm asked Boyer, “Did this woman die because somebody didn’t fully investigate that first call?”

“Well, and I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know what the first call was about,” Boyer said. “And I don’t know why they went out there the first time. I mean, as commissioners, we have not been briefed at all. Obviously, we want to find out what happened and what went wrong.”

Bartlett’s family members have asked their attorney Pitts Carr to investigate. “They obviously are distraught and just very anxious to understand what happened and why it happened,” Carr said.

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