VIDEO: The New Bedford firefighters union is once again calling on the city to end its policy of "blacking out" certain engines when the department is short-staffed.
The city's black out policy sometimes leaves one random truck unstaffed to save money. The department has been operating under the policy for at least ten years.
The closest engine to the fire on Myrtle Street Saturday night that killed 88-year-old Robert Seamans was out of service.
"I believe that there was a blackout at the fire department today and they were saying that's actually why there were not here on time," said neighbor Holly Thomas Saturday night.
In October, 85-year-old Louise Barboza was killed in a space heater fire on Coffin Avenue.
In both cases, the closest engine couldn't respond.