Recent East St. Louis church fire raises questions about fire de - KMOV.com

Recent East St. Louis church fire raises questions about fire department's response time

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Fire at Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis. (Credit: KMOV). Fire at Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis. (Credit: KMOV).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

East St. Louis residents said they’re concerned about the fire department’s response time after a recent fire at a church.

Angela Howard said the fire at Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church put those concerns to the forefront. 

“What if there were people in there? They'd be dead,” said Howard.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the fire department because of concerns about equipment, training and other issues.  Fire Chief Jason Blackman said those issues aren’t affecting responsible times.

“Those were some issues we did have with OSHA that were some minor issues. A little training here and there, but it had nothing to do with our firefighting skills or our response times,” said Chief Blackman.

Chief Blackman said it takes his crews only 3-5 minutes to response to a fire.  News 4 called surrounding departments to compare.  Edwardsville fire says it takes them roughly 3 to 5 minutes to respond.  St. Louis says it takes them about four minutes to respond. 

Chief Blackman said those still concerned can contact him directly with questions.

“You can always come talk to me. We can always go to our dispatch center, we can always check the times. Have any questions or feeling like we're in norm? Then my doors always open. We can address those issues,” said Chief Blackman.

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