Inquiry Shows Fire Response Worked Well
Contrary to residents’ complaints about response time, firefighters arrived at the scene of Sunday morning’s Larchmont Acres fire
three minutes after being notified, a Town of Mamaroneck police and fire departments inquiry shows.
“Anytime of day, that’s excellent,” Fire Chief Sean McCarthy said at a press conference Wednesday at Town Hall.
The investigation showed that the Town and Westchester County emergency response system worked as designed when 911 calls reporting the fire, which forced the evacuation of the 48-unit building 4, first rang in to the police department at 4:28 a.m., McCarthy said.
Reports show that within a minute the desk officer on duty contacted Westchester County emergency dispatch, also called “60 Control,” which in turn paged the Town’s fire department.
A Fire Chief arrived at the Richbell Road fire three minutes later, and firefighting equipment was on the scene another minute after that, McCarthy said.
That’s markedly different from some residents’ claims that fire fighters took up to 10 minutes to get there.
While the investigation showed that that some of the firefighters’ pagers did not activate immediately, that didn’t hinder response times as alternative paging systems were used as well, McCarthy said.
“It was very adequate,” he said.
With 70 firefighters from various agencies including the villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck and New Rochelle responding to the blaze, it did take some firefighters longer than others to arrive on the scene, he said.
However, Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe said residents’ complaints could have been spurred in part by the sensation of time moving slowly when awaiting help.
“When you’re frightful you want immediate response,” she said. “Sometimes what seems like 10 minutes could be four minutes.”
Meantime, time is indeed dragging on for displaced residents who won’t be able to return home until problems with the building’s electrical and plumbing systems are repaired, town officials said. Some of those problems are fire-related. Some are not, said Town Administrator Stephen Altieri.
The Red Cross had helped find all displaced residents places to stay until they can return home. However, O’Keeffe said local landlords have offered empty apartments to people who need them.
instead of reading all the complaints about how long it took, maybe someone could actually say “thank you” to the local firedepartments that did their job and STOPPED the fire before the entire building burned down.
If you rent an apartment please get apartment renter’s insurance. I think GEICO has a policy that costs around $12.00 per month.
For tips on fire safety please visit http://westchestercounty.redcross.org/pdf/wcRCFireSafety.pdf
Apartment dwellers must remember to close the door to their apartments in a fire. This fire received a lot of fuel because the door to the apartment was left open after the occupants evacuated.
Do your own fire drills. It’s important to practice leaving your building in a hurry. Find at least 2 ways out in case the shortest way is blocked. Have a small “Go” kit hanging by the door that has important phone numbers, insurance policy information, medical information and some cash. Don’t start looking for things in an emergency, just get out and call 911 and do not go back in.
If you live in a single family home you still need to practice fire drills and have a “go” kit.
Chief was there in 3 minutes, Mamaroneck has paid staff at the station that arrived after the chief, rigs should have been there before the chief being approx 1 mile from fire. How long before actual volunteers arrivec in their cars, geared up and assumed their role such as nozzleman, rescue, etc. Once they got in, they did a good job saving the rest of the building and assuring no residents were injured. A question of timing here can not be answered other than what time PD,60 Control made their calls,rigs stating their on the scene, each FF dosen’t report in to 60 Control they are there. But all-in-all it could have been worse and thank you to all.
I was told that Larchmont’s ladder was first on the scene. How is that so ?