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Centreville homeowner blames lack of emergency response for serious fire

by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on February 5, 2010 at 10:14 AM

No one was killed or hurt, but a house was destroyed in Centreville and the one next door suffered serious heat damage to the siding.  The important thing is everyone's okay... right?  Well, if you ask Eddie Givens, there's more to it than that.

Givens lives next door to the home that burned and in the house that had the melted siding.

Givens says after firefighters responded to and put out a minor fire at his neighbors Thursday morning, he noticed around 2:00 in the afternoon, there was smoke coming from the home again.  He called Centreville police/fire dispatch and says someone told him, "oh, that's normal.... it's fine."  Givens told me he called again later saying it's still smoldering and there could be a fire inside and he says the dispatcher said they'd send somone out.  Givens says they didn't... Not until it was WAY too late.  Around 8:30pm Givens says his son noticed the home was engulfed in flames. 

Givens is livid that his concerns were ignored and all this damage could have been prevented.

I called the Centreville Police Department early this morning and again around 8:30am seeking answers.  The people there said they knew nothing about it.  I left a messsage for the police chief and a detective.  I'm curious to find out (if Givens story is accurate) why they didn't send someone to at least check on the house to make sure it wasn't going to ignite again.

What if someone had been killed because of this apparent oversight or lack of concern?

I'll let you know what (if anything) I find out about this.

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