Calhoun man says fire department took half an hour to arrive
CALHOUN, McMINN COUNTY (WRCB) - Jackie Butler says his boat was destroyed.
He claims it might have been so bad if the fire fighters had gotten there quicker.
Neighbors say they called 911, but it took well over 30 minutes for a volunteer fire service to respond.
But the Calhoun Volunteer Fire Chief says his guys got there much quicker.
"I get stick at my stomach," says Jackie Brown.
There's not much left of Brown's boat. He says he and his family did everything they could to save it when it caught fire Sunday night.
"My granddaughter's husband did throw a couple of buckets of water on it. I don't know what he was trying to do. It was pretty well engulfed," says Brown.
Neighbors say the flames started small, but soon began shooting as high as 15 feet.
Harli Morgan lives down the street from Jackie and says it took the fire department nearly 40 min to arrive. She says she was told the Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department didn't have a driver available, so the crew was delayed.
"What would have happened if it was somebody's house on fire and it took them that long to get there? I mean, everything they own would have been gone," says Morgan.
She says this time it was just material things burning, next time someone might not be so lucky.
"With them taking so long to respond, that person if they were asleep or they had passed out they would have been dead," says Morgan.
Eyewitness News spoke to dispatchers to verify what time the fire department was called and what time the crew actually arrived. The call came in at 9:49 p.m. and they say volunteers arrived at about 10:05 p.m.