Watch CBS News

Fire Crews Sent To Wrong Location As Homes Burn

Residents watched in horror as a house fire in Oakdale spread out of control with no firefighters in sight after 911 dispatchers accidentally sent emergency crews to the wrong address.

The fire started in a vacant home on California Avenue late at night, but after neighbors called for help, 911 dispatchers accidentally sent firefighters to a similarly-named street in another city.

Police officers arrived at the scene quickly and helped evacuate sleeping residents, including a 92-year-old neighbor, but for at least six minutes, no firefighters arrived.

"The officer even said, 'Where are you? Where are you?" a witness said.

Dispatchers eventually corrected the call and sent crews to the right location, but not before the fire spread to two other homes.

The vacant home was destroyed and the other homes suffered severe damage.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but is being treated as suspicious.

The delay is under investigation.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.