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Tue June 18, 2013
New Home For Oak Cliff Family Burned Out After Slow Firefighter Response
It was a homecoming for an Oak Cliff family on Berwick Avenue Tuesday morning. Dora Fuller and her adult son returned to the neighborhood and a new home after a devastating fire last year.
Dora Fuller of Oak Cliff got the keys to her new house on Berwick Avenue during a small ceremony in the driveway.
“Wonderful. I missed my neighborhood, and I’m glad to get back here," Fuller said to the applause of neighbors, city officials and firefighters.
Last July 4th, she watched her home burn to the ground as an overload of 9-1-1 calls forced dozens of callers from the neighborhood to be put on hold. Subsequent confusion about the address also delayed dispatch of a fire crew from a station two blocks away.
That was one of several incidents that prompted an overhaul of the 9-1-1 call center and the hiring of more call takers, according to Councilman Dwaine Caraway.
“I want folks to know and feel confident that if you have a problem, you dial 9-1-1," Caraway said. "And we are doing everything we possibly can to make sure that the right people are there with the right attitude, the right professionalism, to handle your emergencies when you call.”
Caraway says Dora Fuller and her son lost everything in the fire, and they had no homeowners insurance. He says the city’s housing department directed Fuller to the home repair and reconstruction program. She qualified for more than $100,000 in federal money to build a new home.
Fuller is grateful.
“I just want to thank my neighbors, and friends, and family. I just want to thank everybody. Thank you. It’s a wonderful day,” Fuller said, holding the keys to her new house in her hand.