Emergency Crews Responded As Fast As Possible To Fatal Catoosa Fire
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - News On 6 listened to the 911 calls placed by neighbors Friday morning where a 9-year-old girl died in a Rogers County House fire.
The recordings are heartbreaking, and some are wondering if there was anything more that could have been done to save Lauren Creel's life.
Catoosa Fire Chief, Denus Benton, said even if responders had arrived earlier, the 9 year old most likely died of smoke inhalation within minutes.
He said when the call first went out to dispatch the home was already burning heavily.
12/15/2014 Related Story: Young Catoosa Fire Victim To Be Laid To Rest Wednesday
Dispatch: "911 where is your emergency?”
Caller: “My neighbor's house is on fire."
The calls began coming into Rogers County 911 dispatch shortly after midnight Friday morning and there were immediate issues with the accurate address.
Fire Dispatch: “Confusion on route. You said it was on 576?”
Dispatch: "East 576 Road just east of 4100."
Then, a caller's cell phone found them.
Dispatch: “It is pinging right no top of that address within five meters. It's Catoosa Fire, Pafford Ambulance, Rogers County Sheriff's Office. 29555 South Oak Road."
Logs show Catoosa Fire and mutual responders on the road within two minutes and travel time shows it took 12 more to get there.
Caller: "Please hurry.
Dispatch: “We are ma'am we're trying."
Caller: "One guy's here but no water."
"Unfortunately that was me. I live right around the corner and I'm in a command vehicle and, yeah, we don't have water in those," Benton said. "It was rough ‘cause you're sitting there knowing there's a child up there and that's a helpless time."
He said his trucks arrived moments later, even though some might feel the wait time was entirely too long.
"The timelines are realistic for the distance of travel and everything that took place. We don't like it, but I don't know that there's a lot we can do or change," Benton said.
Even Rogers Count Sheriff Scott Walton – who has publicly voiced his concerns over the efficiency of the dispatch center - said he didn't think anyone dropped the ball in this case.
"In this instance, with what I've studied so far, unless something else presents itself, I certainly believe everybody did what they could to get everybody out there as fast as they could," Walton said.
Friends and family plan to gather at a memorial service for Lauren on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.