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Homeowner Says 911 Hung Up On Them

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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Johnson County (CBSDFW.COM) – Home video shows just how intense the flames are as they consume John and Lori Helsley’s house.

Mrs. Helsley says they felt helpless because firefighters didn’t show up right away. “Took them about half an hour to get here. Just had to watch our house burn down.”

The Helsleys say they called 911 around 8pm Friday night.

They say their house sits in Venus in Johnson County, right across the street from the Mansfield city line.

She says they thought the dispatcher would send firefighters to respond.

But Lori Helsley says no one showed up. “Then one of my sons called 911 again saying where are you? Where are you? They ended up hanging up on him because he was so upset.”

John Helsley says, “Whether they’re talking to somebody upset, they shouldn’t hang up on somebody.”

The homeowners say what makes them more upset is that the Mansfield Fire Department is two miles away on Main Street, and that a fire hydrant sits right in their front yard.

The city sent us a statement Saturday night saying, “Mansfield received a request from Johnson County Friday evening to provide mutual aid to a house fire not in Mansfield’s jurisdiction. The Mansfield Fire Rescue was the first on the scene and provided four pieces of equipment to fight the fire. The department personnel and equipment were on the scene for six hours.”

The Helsleys say other volunteer fire departments arrived afterwards to help.

Mr. Helsley though says, “You just got the feeling, with the pace, that they had written off the house. That’s our perspective. We’re watching our house burn, and we didn’t feel the urgency.”

They’re thankful no one was hurt.

Their friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and professionals all helped salvage what’s left.

Lori Helsley says, “We’ve had wonderful neighbors and friends.”

The couple say they intend to file a complaint against the city of Mansfield.

We also contacted Johnson County about the response to this house fire.

But we didn’t hear back.

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