Neighbors say Grand Prairie address confusion delayed response to fire

As flames recently destroyed a North Texas family's garage, neighbors wondered where the firefighters were.

The home has a Grand Prairie address but is considered to be in Dallas. That confusion is what people in the area think is causing delayed response times, resulting in more damage.

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. Saturday morning. A garage on Courtside Drive became engulfed in flames, with no firefighters around.

After about 15 minutes, Dallas Fire-Rescue got to the scene and put out the fire, which destroyed the garage and almost everything inside of it, including a dune buggy and a four-wheeler.

"At the moment, they were so hysterical about losing their house, their things and their home that they weren't saying much except, ‘Where are they?'" said neighbor Amanda Hunt.

A man who shot cell phone video of the fire and the couple that lives at the house were not home Monday afternoon, but neighbors like Hunt told FOX 4 that living where they do feels like "no man's land."

"We're kind of in a weird spot where we're Dallas, but also Grand Prairie," said Hunt.

"They've got Grand Prairie addresses but they are within the Dallas city limits," said Grand Prairie Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy. "It was land that Dallas annexed years ago out there, so they provide services there."

Murphy says even Dallas Fire Station 50, east of Mountain Creek Lake, is closer to the neighborhood than the closest Grand Prairie fire station at 161 and Marshall.

"If it's life-threatening or your home is on fire, you have family members or loved ones in there, we depend on them to be here," said Hunt.

And that's why through a services agreement, Grand Prairie will respond first if there's a medical emergency. However, during fires like Saturday's, Grand Prairie will only send an engine as backup.

"If Dallas isn't available to come, we are going to send a full structure fire assignment," said Murphy.  

If you call 911 with your cell phone, the fire department says it's going to hit the closest tower and it will probably ping to Grand Prairie.

If that happens, officials say those in the area need to tell the dispatcher that they have a Grand Prairie address but are within the City of Dallas limits.

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