Family Watches as House Burns Down, 911 Hangs Up On Them, Takes Fire Dept. Half Hour to Arrive


A family in Texas is upset and angry after they said firefighters took half an hour to reach their home as it was up in flames.

With nothing else to do but wait, they watched as their house burned down.

They called 911 on Friday night when they came home to the flames, but said the responders were not in a hurry to get to their house.

"You just got the feeling, with the pace, that they had written off the house," John Hesley said. "That's our perspective. We're watching our house burn, and we didn't feel the urgency."

But what happened after they initially called 911 was even more upsetting, as a dispatcher hung up on their distraught son after he called again to ask where they were.

"They ended up hanging up on him because he was so upset," Lori Helsley said. "Whether they're talking to somebody upset, they shouldn't hang up on somebody.

The family believed the house could have been saved since they were about three miles away from a fire department, and a fire hydrant sits right in front of the house.

"Took them about half an hour to get here. We just had to watch our house burn down," Lori Helsley said. 

While Johnson County took their call, they ended up asking Mansfield County for aid as their fire department is a paid crew. 

"The department personnel and equipment were on the scene for six hours," spokeswoman Belinda Willis said.

Willis said the department did not take half an hour to arrive, but the city is still reviewing the official time line.

The family said they will file a complaint against the county. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire and the family is salvaging what is left of the remains.

Sources: NY Daily News, CBS Local


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