Follow Up: Johnston residents call for 9-1-1 system reform following devastating house fire

  • Source: WLNE-TV ABC 6
  • Published: 09/11/2019 12:00 AM

The 9-1-1 system in Rhode Island is under scrutiny following a house fire on the Johnston-Smithfield line. A home on Roger Williams Drive sustained major damage after catching fire around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. The homeowners were not home at the time of the fire, but their five cats were. The bodies of four of the cats were found in the rubble. A fifth is still missing. "I've never seen anything like it," said neighbor Fred Pontarelli. Pontarelli and several other neighbors believe the 9-1-1 system is outdated because the closest fire department was not the crew called to the scene. The home is on the Johnston-Smithfield line. Its address reads Johnston, but it's actually closer to the Smithfield Fire Department. They are a mile away from each other. The Johnston Fire Department is about four miles from the home. Even though it's farther away, Johnston was the department that received the 9-1-1 call.


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