Housefire Loss

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homeowner vexed after housefire loss 

By Rupert Howell

Batesville businessman Jerry Cooley was the lone citizen at the City of Batesville’s Public Hearing on their proposed $24,579,625 budget Tuesday evening.

The owner of Cooley’s Mortuary and recent victim of a house fire took board members to task for the way Batesville Fire Department handled the June 20 fire at 2:30 a.m. at his 4,992 square foot home located on Tubbs Road.

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Cooley said firefighters were at the scene shortly after the call but said of the pumper, “It sit 15 minutes in my driveway… “

Fire Chief Tim Taylor, who was not at the fire, said that firemen entered the burning house immediately after the pumpers arrived.

Cooley alleged that it was 17 minutes before any water was put on his burning house although the fire station is only a short distance away.

Taylor later said he had requested statements from the State Fire Marshal’s investigation and said his department records indicate a fire truck was on the scene in nine minutes with another right behind it.

During the hearing Cooley noted that firefighters are sent to schools for training, stating, “They need to do better.”

Cooley also questioned why the fire chief wasn’t at the fire and told Alderman Stan Harrison, who represents the district, “I thought you would have come by to see me and show a little more compassion and respect.”

Harrison informed Cooley that the board was looking at the fire department with more scrutiny than any other department. Harrison also invited Cooley to come to a meeting about the fire department, stating, “I’ve been to 10 separate meetings in the last three months about the fire department.”

Cooley told the board of mayor and aldermen, “I only came because I’m concerned. I don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”