CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A Montgomery County man who lost everything to a fire says city lines stopped the closest department from responding.
"I was thinking the fire department's pretty much just right up the road," remembered Todd Wild. "This might be preventable. One of the first responders told me they're not going to respond because we're out of their jurisdiction, and I was going to lose everything."
Wild's Bradbury Road home of 16 years is a total loss today, leaving him to wonder what could have been.
"There's a station there that could've stopped the whole house from burning down," said Wild.
Late Tuesday night, Wild said he was jolted awake by his fire alarm.
"I'd seen something, probably an animal, push my grill over and cause the deck to catch fire," said Wild. "Ten minutes, it was pretty much fully engulfed."
Instead of getting a response from a Clarksville city fire station three miles away, it was the East Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department six miles away that was first on the scene. East Montgomery officials said a local EMS crew arrived within 8 minutes of the call, but Wild believes more could've been saved had the closer city station staffed 24 hours responded.
"It would've been a difference between a complete loss and some damage to the rear," said Wild.
Clarksville fire officials told Channel 4 they only cover homes in the city limits. Wild is just outside city limits where residents aren't covered by city resources as they only pay county taxes.
"What if I had a few children who were in those back rooms?" asked Wild. "That time of a first responder could've been a save a life versus lose a life situation. It's terrifying to watch everything you've ever worked for and everything you own go down in front of you."
East Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department Chief Josh Baggett, however, said the house was fully involved at the time the call went out and would have been a total loss regardless of which department responded. Baggett added a neighbor's call to fire officials about the incident was put out too late to save the home.
Clarksville fire officials said concerns over city and county lines do come up often. They said a resident should know what department covers them when they buy a home in the county.
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