Response time for fires in Saline County comes into question - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Response time for fires in Saline County comes into question

CARRIER MILLS, IL (KFVS) - A house burns down in Saline County, but could a different crew have responded faster?

Harrisburg stopped responding to calls outside of city limits six months ago when the Harrisburg city council decided they could no longer afford it.

It left a lot of folks in Saline County living just outside those limits questioning the response time from a neighboring volunteer fire department.

But where the Harrisburg fire department left off Carrier Mills picked up, and the fire chief there says they are more than prepared to respond to calls.

"They've been pretty lucky that it took this long for something like this to happen," said Mike Dudley.

According to Saline County dispatch, 7.5 minutes was how long it took for the Carrier Mills Fire Department to arrive at 240 old Crain Road Wednesday night.

But Mike Dudley's house couldn't be saved.

Dudley questions the department's response time and wonders if they had been there sooner, could his house of been saved?

The Carrier Mills Fire Department is located six miles away from Dudley's address.

Harrisburg is half the distance.

The Carrier Mills fire chief comes to his department's defense.

"We are a little department and we don't live at the station, so it takes us just a little bit of time to get here," said Jerry Choat, Carrier Mills Fire Chief. "I would say that we have guys that live a block to two blocks away from the station and we are just as capable of making it to a fire."

And he says Wednesday night's response time proves that.

"As long as our tones go off we are going to go help," said Choat. "Whether it be Harrisburg, Stonefort or whoever else we do our best to help the people."

This gives some folks more peace of mind when it comes to their safety.

"We were all really shocked and a lot of people out here were pretty mad that they cut the fire protection out from under us like they did but it seems like Carrier Mills has done a real good job responding out here," said Bryan Mulvarey.

There and anywhere.

Chief Choat says his department is as good as any other.

"We know that we have good back up for us," said Choat. "Everyone is going to take care of us, everyone around us is more than happy to help us."

No one was injured in Wednesday's fire.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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