Fire Department Doesn’t Get Engine To House Fire (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM EDT

ST. JOSEPH TOWNSHIP, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A home is destroyed and some are questioning why the local department couldn't get there in time with a fire truck.

"That's what concerns me, that they did not make the response with a fire truck,” said Barry Kunckle, Board Member, Saint Joseph Township.

The home, in the 9000 block of Blazing Woods Trail in Allen County's Saint Joseph Township, caught fire Sunday afternoon.

The 911 call came in at 1:33 p.m. St. Joe’s Fire Department made the scene at 1:40. By 1:47 Northeast Allen County Fire and EMS arrived with a ladder truck and by 2:10 the fire was under control.

The house is a total loss and the homes on either side are also damaged.

"Fire is reported to double its size, once it begins into a free burn stage, every minute. And so the difference between 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes is huge,” said Kunckle.

The Saint Joseph Township Fire Chief says when the call came in his crew was on another run. He says that's why mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities are so important.

"They were clearing that call, they were out in different apparatus, and the crews that were there responded to the scene,” said Chief David Ringer, St. Joseph Township.

Chief Ringer says he, and other members of his volunteer staff were in Indianapolis for training at the time of the fire.

"You know these guys are volunteers and people have schedules and everything else that comes with that and mutual aid is in place in such a manner that if it has to be utilized it can be, and it was,” said Ringer.

While St. Joe Board Member Barry Kunckle agrees mutual aid is needed he's still disappointed a St. Joe Fire truck wasn't on scene.

"The Saint Joseph Fire Station is about a 5 minute drive from there, so under what has historically been, about 5 minutes to get the trucks in route, 5 minutes to drive there, potentially somebody could have been there in 10 minutes,” said Kunckle.

Although the home was destroyed nobody was hurt in the fire.

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