MI Woman: Firefighters Are Too Busy to Respond to House Fire

An Eastpointe (MI) woman whose house was on fire went to the police station seeking help after she was told firefighters were unable to respond because they were fighting another house fire.

A report in The Macomb Daily (http://bit.ly/wn1XxQ) says Catherine Ritter called 911 when she discovered her house was on fire, only to be told there were no firefighting crews available in the city. She drove to the police station to ask for help, but was told to return to her home. Mutual aid crews from St. Clair Shores eventually responded to the call.

A 37-year-old woman was injured after inhaling smoke at the other incident firefighters had responded to.

A burst water pipe extinguished the fire in the basement of Ritter’s home.

Firefighters say staffing shortages have indeed impacted response times in the city. Eight firefighters have retired since February of 2010 and none have been replaced. The total number of personnel is 21, including the fire chief. The city has consolidated its dispatch services with a pair of neighboring communities, and they also have mutual aid agreements with these municipalities.

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