Firefighters ignored a White Swan house fire despite desperate calls from the owners for help. No one arrived to put out the fire or responded to their pleas. Connie Sutterlict eventually learned her home did not fall under any fire district, so she was left to deal with her problems without outside help.
Connie Sutterlict lost her home in a fire that started in the kitchen, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic. The homeowner immediately called police for help once she saw the fire, but no one came to help her. She found out that her rural home was outside the regular jurisdiction and not covered by police or fire.
Sutterlict is not the only homeowner affected by the jurisdiction problems, and other rural homes near White Swan in Washington fall into the same category. However, she was never notified by the city that her home was not covered by police or fire, so she had no way to prepare in case of emergency. Now, she wants to know why homeowners are not notified if they are outside of jurisdiction boundaries.
As Connie Sutterlict watched a small kitchen fire grow and engulf her entire home, she stood helpless outside. The fire completely destroyed her home, and the only thing left is the foundation. She believes if firefighters had arrived they could have saved a portion of the house.
The homeowner has provided the media a detailed explanation of how the fire grew and what she attempted to do to stop it. After hearing smoke alarms, the family tried to put out the kitchen fire on its own with water. However, it continued to escalate until a police officer showed up with a fire extinguisher. Although she is outside the jurisdiction, he still tried to help her, but he was not successful. The fire had spread to the attic, and the family was not able to stop it without the help of firefighters.
Firefighters explain they must follow jurisdiction rules because taxpayers are the ones supporting them. Although they wish they could have helped Connie Sutterlict, there is nothing they can do outside the law. They suggested that rural residents get their own personal equipment to help during emergencies. They also recommended they create their own fire district and hire firefighters, but these options are difficult to achieve in rural areas. Connie Sutterlict is still bewildered by the fact that the home she owns is gone because of jurisdiction rules.