Johnson County homeowners said their house burned Friday because 911 operators hung up on their call. But the city of Mansfield and Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 say they arrived within minutes, according to a Monday release from the Johnson County ESD and a statement from Mansfield.
JCESD received a transferred 911 call at 8:08 p.m. for a structure fire in the 2600 block of Howell Drive. The home is within the district of Station 82 in Lillian, JCESD Executive Director Mike Johnston said.
No one was injured but the home’s roof burned off and the house is likely a total loss, Johnston said.
Homeowners John and Lori Hensley told NBCDFW.com they had to wait too long for help and that a 911 operator hung up during one of the calls for help.
“The news is saying the 911 dispatch hung up on them,” Johnston said. “That’s not true [on our part]. I’ve listened to the tape and we didn’t hang up on them for sure.”
The hang up apparently occurred with Mansfield’s dispatch, which is not part of JCESD.
“One operator did disengage one call after determining the call was in regards to the house fire on Howell Drive in which personnel and equipment had already been dispatched,” according to the Mansfield city release.
The Hensleys and friends were at their home when the fire started and initially attempted to fight it themselves before calling 911, according to NBCDFW.com.
The first call, made from the home, was answered by JCESD dispatch. At least two other calls made on cellphones, apparently by neighbors, were answered by operators in Mansfield, the Hensleys told NBC.
The couple’s home sits in unincorporated Johnson County, across the street from Mansfield city limits.
Johnston said JCESD dispatch notified several Johnson County fire departments at 8:10 p.m. including Station 82, Venus, Briaroaks, Alvarado and Mansfield.
“Standard initial response for a structure fire is three stations,” Johnston said in his release. “Two of the initial responding departments, Lillian and Venus, were already on emergency calls at the time they received the alarm at [Howell Drive], which is one reason the Mansfield Fire Department was first to respond on scene.
“Mansfield responds by mutual-aid request when called by JCESD dispatchers by phone, because they are not currently part of the JCESD.”
According to a time line in Johnston’s release, JCESD dispatch received the initial call at 8:08 p.m. and dispatched the involved fire stations at 8:10 p.m.
The time line shows Alvarado responding at 8:11 p.m., Lillian at 8:14 p.m., Briaroaks at 8:16 p.m. and Venus at 8:17 p.m.
JCESD dispatch phoned Mansfield at 8:13 p.m. and they responded at 8:16 p.m. arriving on scene at 8:26 p.m. Lillian, Alvarado and Briaroaks firefighters arrived two to seven minutes later, according to the time line.
Mansfield Police & Fire Dispatch received its first call, “on the published non-emergency line as a mutual aid request from JCESD dispatch” about 8:10 p.m. and arrived on scene about 8:22 p.m., according to the Mansfield release.
“The department provided one engine, one Quint, one ambulance and a command vehicle with a total of nine firefighter/paramedics to the scene,” according to the release. “Mansfield Fire Rescue personnel were first on the scene and remained on the scene for more than four hours.”
Mansfield dispatch received “multiple calls” from people at the scene after firefighters had already dispatched.
“Mansfield operators told callers on several occasions that fire personnel had already been dispatched to the scene and were en route,” according to the release. “A review of the Mansfield 911 tapes have determined that all 911 calls made to the Mansfield Dispatch Center were made after the Mansfield Fire & Rescue has been dispatched to [Howell Drive].”
Attempts to reach the Hensleys for comment were unsuccessful.