I-TEAM: Why it took 23 minutes to get water on a deadly Medina fire

I-Team
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MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) — Video released to the FOX 8 I-TEAM shows it took firefighters in Medina more than 20 minutes to start getting water on a deadly fire. And, we’ve learned, it could happen again.

Medina police video shows officers scrambling to a fire as flames shot into the sky with a woman trapped inside a mobile home.

But the I-TEAM has found, from the first 911 call, it took 23 minutes to get firefighters to the scene and in position to put water on the flames.

The video shows police warning neighbors and feeling helpless watching the flames.

One officer can be heard saying, “You gotta understand I can’t open the door…it’s gonna blow the whole thing.”

The fire happened last month at 5 a.m. on a Sunday.

The woman in the trailer died.

We’ve discovered the Medina Fire Department does not have any stations staffed overnight or at any point on weekends.

This call led the I-TEAM to take a closer look at fire protection in Medina. The Fire Department there also covers two townships.

Assistant Fire Chief Mark Crumley said, “So, at that hour we have no one in the fire stations.”

He explained, overnight and on weekends, Medina Fire relies on volunteers.

In this case, he says, a full complement of firefighters jumped out of bed and raced to the call.

But, since it took 20-minutes to get fire trucks there pumping water, we wondered, what about next time?

We asked the Assistant Chief what he’d say to the public about this kind of staffing arrangement in Medina, a growing area.

“We operate with what we can and the budget we have. Even if we do it with part-time people to be there 24 hours a day, then we need more budget money, which means we have to go to the voters,” Crumley responded.

The Assistant Chief says even if firefighters had gotten to this fatal fire a little more quickly, they likely would not have been able to save the life of the woman inside.

I spoke to a relative of hers, and the family member said he wanted to find out more about the call and the response.

As for the cause, investigators have not been able to determine what started the fire due to the amount of damage.

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