Citizens blame bad road, fire department for loss - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Citizens blame bad road, fire department for loss

February 10, 2005

Worth County-- Fire destroyed a Home on McCarty Lane Wednesday night, and folks who live in the area say slow response the Worth County Fire Department led to the total loss of their home.

They also say the muddy roads contributed to a slow response, b ut the fire department disputes just how long it took firefighters to arrive.

"Yes, I think that it is a very big problem due to the fact that the condition of the road cut down on the response time," Fred said.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the blaze, but residents claim the muddy roads led to a forty minute response time to the scene.

But Worth County EMA director Lynn Ford, disputes the 40 minutes response time. He says the 911 call came in at 8:46PM, and the first truck was on the scene 16 minutes later, at 9:02PM.

The county acknowledges the muddy McCarty Lane needs improvement, but that the trucks were able to get to the scene. The house was just to far gone by the time they arrived.

"It was 9:30 until the fire truck got here. I had one person, I don't know whether he was a fireman, but he came up and said, that due to the fact the road was so muddy the fire truck had to slow down, but they would be here," said Clay.

Worth County officials acknowledge McCarty Lane needs to be widened and improved, and residents tell us they have attended various county commission meetings since the year 2000, and to asked for improvements, but none have been made.

"We have been told it was our responsibility to go out and petition the land owners and get their signature, and I don't think we should have to get out and do all the leg work, because in turn we don't know how much land the county needs," Clay said.

But the county says it is having trouble getting property owners to give up more of their land for a 60 foot right of way needed for road improvements.

A investigation into the fire is under way. One theory is the fire started from a wood burning stove left unattended.

posted at 6:10PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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