Shreveport man wonders if fire department delay led to his charr - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport man wonders if fire department delay led to his charred house


A Shreveport man whose house burned to the ground on Christmas Day says that, if it weren't for the Shreveport Fire Department, he might have been able to rescue a few possessions from the flames.

In an interview with KSLA News 12, the homeowner explains why he believes the devastation is partly the fire department's fault.

"It was so hot that the cans of beans done bust," says Joe Caldwell of the fire that destroyed his house. The Christmas Day fire left nothing but charred remains.

"All my children stuff done burnt up, all the toys," he says.

Caldwell says that when he returned home at about 9 p.m., he saw the flames coming from the laundry room. He grabbed the water hose and did what he could to put out the fire.

Caldwell says it wasn't long before firefighters arrived and took over, but, to his surprise, very little firefighting was actually done.

"I done lost everything. I think if the fire department would have responded by having that truck pumping that water, I think I could have salvaged something," Caldwell says.

The problem, according to Caldwell, is that the fire department couldn't get the fire truck to work. And, while crews worked to figure out what was wrong, he says he wasn't allowed to try to fight the flames himself.

"They told us to get back, but they ain't got no water. I am trying to save my belongings, what I worked all my life for."

Caldwell has fire insurance. He will stay with his mother as he rebuilds.

Shreveport fire officials say that there has been no official complaint filed in this case, but they are still investigating to see what, if anything, went wrong.

Shreveport Fire Department Chief Louis Johnson says, "We are doing a thorough investigation. We are not taking the matter lightly at all. We, as a department, want to get the details and address the concern."

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