Subscribe via RSS Feed
banner ad

Fire destroys Fawcett home, 911 issues raised

[ 1 ] December 31, 2013 |

By JOHN M. WYLIE II and CAROLYN ESTES, Leader writers

Two generations of the Fawcett family lost their home and most of their possessions Christmas Eve when fire erupted in their house at County Rd. 420 and Owalla Rd.

There were no injuries but firefighters were able to save only the families’ Christmas presents and some personal possessions from the blaze.

The families have temporarily relocated to a home at Redbud Marina.

They said they are very grateful for what firefighters were able to save from the blaze and for the outpouring of support from the community since the fire.

They are thankful no one was injured.

The fire again raised questions about how Claremore’s decision not to participate in the new county E911 system, which goes on line in just a few days, will impact the rest of the county[JW1].

Claremore has a completely separate 911 center operated by its police department which directly handles police and fire calls and routes ambulance calls to the dispatch service for Pafford Ambulance,

The Claremore center is supposed to receive only calls placed from within the Claremore city limits.

“The initial call reporting the fire, for a currently unknown reason, was routed to the City of Claremore’s E911 center,” said Janet Hamilton, Rogers County E911 administrator.

“The call was transferred to the temporary E911 center,” she said, “but only the dispatcher was on the line. The reporting caller was not transferred.

“Instead the information about the fire had to be transferred a third time—still without the actual person on the scene on the line—to the Northwest and OTEMS dispatch contractor in Owasso, which then paged Northwest firefighters and OTEMS to the house.”

Puckett said the home was fully involved in fire when the first crews arrived:

“At 11:40 we were paged to a structure fire at 12009 E 420 Rd. [When the first units arrived], flames were showing from the roof.

“[There were], nine apparatuses on scene with 17 firefighters. We had assistance from Collinsville Rural Fire with four personnel on an engine; Foyil Fire Department with 4 personnel on a tanker and a command vehicle; Claremore Fire Department and Tri-District Fire Department and OTEMS [ambulance] unit 230 for Rehab, and American Red Cross.

“We would like to thank all of those that come to assist on Dec. 24 to leave their families and to give to our district in time of need was very thoughtful and admirable. Thank you to all.”

The first crews to reach the scene said they saw flames through the front side of the house.

“The firefighters quickly made interior attack; saw the presents under the tree and quickly started removing the presents from the house, then turned the salvage to personal items such as guns, jewelry, a safe with valuable information, photos, and various pieces of the furniture,” Chief Puckett said.

Puckett said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“We believe the fire had started in the attic above the bathroom. According to the resident that was home at the time the fire started, she went into the bathroom turned on the light and heard a noise at which time the light did not work.

“At that time she called her husband and asked him to get a new switch as she thought it had gone bad.

“A little while later [she] began smelling smoke, went to investigate the smell, and found fire in the attic area of the bathroom.

“She immediately left the house and dialed 911. It took five minutes to arrive on scene,” Chief Puckett said.

The Red Cross provided emergency food and clothing assistance to the family.

Hamilton said it was unclear why the 911 call was electronically routed to the wrong dispatch center and if that initial misrouting caused a delay in getting firefighters to the scene.

The call will be discussed by the 911 trustees at their meeting at 10 a.m. today (Thursday, Jan. 2), Hamilton said.

Category: News

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Lance says:

    We had that kind of delay from dispatch two years ago. Plus, they sent the trucks to the same address as ours on the other side of the highway (After all these years, Rogers County STILL has two identical addresses for two houses; unfortunately, one is ours.) Our luck was that once our names were mentioned, Chief knew where we lived, and, our fire was smoldering and did not break into full bloom until the trucks were here, and the guys did a fantastic job.