Fire Victim: Dallas 911 Call Center Should Have More Operators

Dallas police releasing 911 calls relating to fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dora Fuller watched helplessly as her home burned on the Fourth of July while Fuller and neighbors say they had trouble getting their calls to 911 answered. (Published Friday, Jul 6, 2012)

    The owner of an Oak Cliff home destroyed by a fire early Wednesday morning says it still eats at her that firefighters did not get word of the blaze earlier because neighbors could not reach a 911 operator.

    Dora Fuller said her neighbors got hold messages when they tried calling 911 about the fire.

    Dallas 911 System Under Review

    [DFW] Dallas 911 System Under Review
    The 911 system in Dallas is under review after neighbors on Berwick Avenue reported getting busy signals and hold messages when they tried to call for help after a house fire Wednesday. (Published Thursday, Jul 5, 2012)

    "I think they should have had more people [working]," Dora Fuller said. "That's an emergency. It seems like it should be their job to be at anybody's beck and call."

    Dallas police said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that a spike in calls at the time of the fire appeared to contribute to the problem.

    Dallas Family Questions 911 System in City

    [DFW] Dallas Family Questions 911 System in City
    We are learning more tonight about the response time to a house fire in Dallas on Berwick Avenue. Neighbors say they tried calling 911 but got busy signals for minutes. (Published Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012)

    "It seems like the first call someone should have answered," Fuller said.

    The police department said a call-by-call review showed that seven calls from the area of the fire hung up before reaching an operator and that the operators got voice mail when they tried to return the calls.

    The first call from the area of the fire came in at 12:36 a.m. The caller hung up before reaching an operator, and the operator reached the caller's voice mail when returning the call.

    Fuller said she appreciates her health and the help from the Red Cross, which put her family in a motel for the past couple of nights.

    "I really don't want to think about everything that has happened, but I thank God everyone's alive," she said.

    Fuller says she   But the fact firefighters from a block away didn't get word soon enough to save her house still eats at her.

    The city said Friday that the Fullers have agreed to allow the city to demolish their house in the 1900 block of Berwick Avenue, which had been deemed an unsafe structure.

    Dallas police are releasing the 911 calls Friday night.