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Frederick Fire Report Finds Big Problems With Response To Blaze That Killed Sophie And Madigan Lillard

5:11 PM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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MYERSVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A new report just out from Frederick County Fire finds multiple mistakes by firefighters responding to a fast-moving house fire that killed two little girls and burned four other family members.

Rescuers at the closest firehouse were confused about the address and ended up heading to the location. The first due truck realized its mistake, tried to turn around, got stuck in a culvert, and had to be pulled out by a wrecker. Engine 82 arrived at the scene 65 minutes after dispatch.

The first ambulance figured out they were headed the wrong way when another truck turned off Route 40. But both those units saw the flames and followed neighbors who directed them into a dead end that was too far away from them to attack the fire.

The first units finally arrived at the blaze about nine minutes after the first call, eight minutes after dispatch. They desperately tried to save the family, but they were unable to rescue Madigan, 3, and Sophie, 6. Four other members of the Lillard family were injured, including Morgan Lillard, 8, who spent more than a week in the burn unit at Children's National Medical Center.

But Chief Tom Owens, director of Frederick County's Division of Fire and Rescue, says all the evidence suggests, even if the response had been absolutely perfect, firefighters would not have been able to save the girls.

The full report is attached with this story.

Friends are still collecting donations to help the surviving members of the Lillard family.

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