Firefighter: Man dies due to colleague's lack of effort

by: Dave Huddleston Updated:

Investigators say a 20-year-old man died in an early-morning house fire on Campbellton Road in southwest Atlanta.

ATLANTA - A firefighter said a 20-year-old man is dead because fellow firefighters didn’t do all they could to save him. 

The firefighter was one of the officers who responded to a home at Campbellton Road in southwest Atlanta on Saturday. He said when the first crew arrived on the scene, they were told a man was inside, but it wasn’t until the third crew arrived that man was pulled outside. He said, by then, it was too late.

"There is no excuse. There is no do-over. He doesn’t get a do-over. That’s it for him, so we failed," said the longtime firefighter who does not want to be identified.

He said they failed at their mission because the first two responding crews did not go in and try to rescue the victim, Sacarri McNeal.

"There was no reason for them not to go in there and get him. There wasn’t.  They should’ve done their job, gone in that window and pulled that kid out," he said.

Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston went to the Atlanta Fire Department headquarters and got a copy of the incident report. The report shows, it was the third unit that pulled the victim out.

"They did just what they were supposed to. The first two crews could’ve done that same thing, giving him a better chance, but they didn’t,” the firefighter said.

The report also said the house was untenable, meaning fire made it impossible to rescue the man. 

Huddleston talked with neighbors who called 911 and they said the same thing.

When crews broke the bedroom window, flames shot out of it.  

Huddleston wanted to get a quote from the fire department, but Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran said the report speaks for itself.





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