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GA Fire chief says understaffed, 20-minute response to house fire is the reality of current funding

Houston County chief explains response to Saturday's fire

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Watch early video from this fire

Houston County, Georgia Fire Chief Chris Stoner makes no excuses about the 20-minute, understaffed response to a house fire in Bonaire on Saturday. The original response was a single career firefighter bringing a tower ladder to the scene, with volunteers coming from home to bring additional equipment. Stoner says the response is what’s available under the department’s current funding. This is the same fire shot by Shane Shifflett that STATter911 posted Monday.

Sarah Hammond, WMAZ-TV:

A fire heavily damaged a Bonaire family’s home over the weekend.

Houston County Fire Chief Chris Stoner says it took 20 minutes for the first fire truck to arrive.

“It just depends, you know — 20 minutes is probably a little bit longer than normal,” says Stoner.

He says during the week, it typically takes five to eight minutes for a crew to get to a fire. That’s 12 to 15 minutes faster than it took the crew to arrive at Ogeechee Court after it was struck by lightning.

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