Questions Raised About Fire Department's Response Time

The double wide trailer just behind Main Street in Hustonville was a total loss.

“It wasn't anything we could do to save the mobile home at the time of arrival,” said Lincoln County Fire Chief Danny Glass.

911 records show that county fire crews were to the first to arrive. Chief Glass said they had more than 20 firefighters from 4 different stations, but property owner Bill Asbury says despite the city fire station within sight of the scene, they only had a few firefighters show up.

“It's a just a poor response by the Hustonville city Fire Department. It's a shame. That when you have a city fire department less than a half of a block away, one that comes 7 miles is the first one to get on the scene,” Asbury said.

In fact, according to the 911 detail log, Lincoln County fire stations "4" and "3" were on their way to the fire within 7 minutes of the fire being dispatched out. Station 3 arrived 5 minutes later. The detail log shows that the Hustonville city fire department left at 2:19 a.m., and didn't arrive until 2:38 a.m..

That would seem it took about 20 minutes for the city crews to basically cross the street.

“There were no city fire trucks here whatsoever,” Asbury claimed.

But Hustonville’s mayor says the city's fire department did respond. He could not say whether their truck was there.

And all of this happened just days after Hustonville's fire chief Franklin Eugene Crowe was arrested for DUI. When asked the status of the chief, the mayor said "no comment.” When pressed, he eventually said the chief resigned two to three days ago.

“After he resigned or whatever it was that he had done, they just lapsed in their coverage,” said Asbury.

The fire crews that did respond couldn't save the home, but they did keep flames away from three surrounding buildings. The victim's father is praising the crews that did show up.

“Nobody got hurt. No property around it got hurt, you know, such close quarters,” said Cecil McElroy.

The Lincoln County chief says the fire started from a grill on the home's back porch.

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