Flames tore through a DeKalb County family’s home destroying everything they have, including old military memorabilia and a wedding dress for their wedding next month.
The house sits on the Gwinnett - DeKalb County line but it falls in DeKalb. Instead of sending firefighters from a Gwinnett County Fire Station less than five minutes away, they had to wait for DeKalb County firefighters to arrive.
When crews arrived, they found flames shooting through the roof and the house engulfed in fire.
Lt. Colonel Kenneth Kirk and his fiancée were not home, but as soon as they arrived, they started to cry.
“(We lost) A lifetime worth of stuff. You collect things from your parents, my mom and dad who were in the military. They passed everything to me,” Kirk explained to Channel 2’s Craig Lucie.
Kirk said had a long-standing county line issue been resolved, firefighters may have saved their cherished belongings.
“They worked hard, but it did take a long time to get water on that fire. It took a long time,” Kirk said.
Battalion Chief Christopher Morrison told Lucie they did face challenges when trying to control the flames.
“It’s a long distance from the first in station. As you can see, this house sits down off the road and it was hard for our vehicles to get down getting access,” said Morrison.
A resident approached Morrison telling him he was “ticked.”
He said the DeKalb County fire station is much further away than the Gwinnett Fire Station.
“They could see the smoke, but because this is DeKalb County, they didn’t come. That man’s house burned down right now because they didn’t come for this fire,” said Morris Ashe, who lives a few houses down from Kirk.
When Lucie reached out to Gwinnett County, they told him Tuesday night, “Gwinnett County firefighters were not aware of the incident occurring inside DeKalb County tonight.”
Lucie also reached out to DeKalb County’s spokesman. He said they would look into it Wednesday after they receive the report.