Budget cuts blamed for slowed fire response - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Budget cuts blamed for slowed fire response

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Captain Richard Bliven Captain Richard Bliven
Chief Rick Rakestraw Chief Rick Rakestraw

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A family pet saved two people from their burning home in Lyndon overnight. But firefighters tell us they could have arrived earlier if it weren't for city budget cuts.

It is something the city of Lyndon calls a "brown out." It happens when a fire station is shut down temporarily to save money. It just so happens the closest station to this fire, Lyndon's Station Two, was shut down.

The fire broke out just after three at a home on Butternut Court just off Westport Road. Lyndon fire officials tell us the homeowner was having financial troubles and electrical power to the home was shut off. Firefighters also said there were no batteries in the smoke detector and the residents of the home were using candles.

The family dog actually started barking which woke up a woman and her daughter where were able to get out safely. However, one of their pets did die in the fire.

According to Captain Richard Bliven, fire crews arrived about three minutes after getting the call, but there was heavy fire coming from a back window and the flames had already reached the second floor of the house. Although Lyndon's Station Two is less than a mile away, its shutdown meant a longer response time for firefighters.

"The net result of that was probably a four to six minute delay in getting first water on the fire," said Lyndon Chief Rick Rakestraw. "We absolutely hate to have that station browned out, but our budget situation just forces us to do that."

Firefighters are estimating the damage to the home to be close to $200,000 and say it is a great example of why you need to make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and that you change out the batteries regularly.

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