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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  • by vc Location: ky on Jul 22, 2008 at 12:42 PM
    I am a volunteer FIREFIGHTER and I also have a life. We respond when we can but don"t get bent out of shape when it takes awhile and when anyone complains they need to JOIN a dept.and try to help everyone, but dont judge volunteers when most people won"t get out of bed to help themselves.
  • by ME Location: Ky on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:51 AM
    To career firefighter.. we have the right to complain, volunteer or not. They chose to be a volunteer firefighter so these individuals have a job to do. If your not in it to help others, then find somewhere else to volunteer!!
  • by Career Firefighter Location: Florida on Jul 21, 2008 at 10:09 AM
    How can you complain about a service that you don't pay for?
  • by Volunteer Firefighters Wife Location: Elsewhere in KY on Jul 19, 2008 at 01:37 PM
    What were you grilling at 2AM? Are you a member of the Fire Dept? I know in our community that all log times at dispatch aren't CORRECT! There is no way that those times are correct!! I've seen logs where it shows the dispatch time and the "on scene time" listed as the same! How do you explain that? If we are going to get technical, lets get all of the facts!
  • by Volunteer Firefighters Wife Location: elsewhere in KY on Jul 19, 2008 at 01:26 PM
    Were the members if the city FD volunteers? If so, did they each have jobs that may have had them elsewhere? I'm sorry that this man's home burned, but don't point a finger at volunteers, because you still have 3 fingers pointing back at yourself! If the grill started the fire, who lit the grill to start with? Were they not being responsible and tending to it? Contrary to what a lot of people believe, firefighters don't live at the station and wait for your call. They have lives and jobs and they VOLUNTEER! I don't know the situation of this FD but I get angry when those volunteering to help get slammed by those that won't!
  • by Venerable Location: Fiery Gorge on Jul 18, 2008 at 10:18 PM
    Looks like somebody needs to light a fire under their feet.
  • by ? Location: Ky on Jul 18, 2008 at 08:45 PM
    Also notice on the sign in the picture above.....Volunteer.So many people get that confused with "They gotta do it"
  • by ? Location: Ky on Jul 18, 2008 at 08:43 PM
    It wouldn't have made much difference how quick the departments made it there. When a mobile home catches fire there is not much that can be done. Granted if the station across the street got there earlier they may have saved a little but lets face it. Mobile homes are not made out of nothing but fast burning substances.
  • by gaston Location: tuscaloosa al on Jul 18, 2008 at 07:39 PM
    in the city of tuscaloosa al it is ilegal to use a grill on a porch! may be the user of the grill should have been more careful! and no fire dept would hve to respond !

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