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Human error partially to blame for delayed response to fatal Waukesha fire, report finds

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 19:42:50-04

Watch TMJ4's Ryan Jenkin's full report Friday on TMJ4 News at 6 p.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — The Waukesha Police Department has concluded its investigation into the dispatch delay to a deadly fire on March 8.

Last month, two people were killed in a fire at 1121 Lambeth Road. A 50-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman both succumbed to injuries after being taken to the hospital.

Following the fire, the Waukesha Fire and Police departments held a press conference, where they said a software glitch led to a delay in response time to the fatal fire.

An automated alert was never sent to the fire department's nearest station, so it had to be sent manually.

After the city's Communication Center contacted fire crews manually, it took them 10 minutes and 47 seconds to respond to the fire, when it normally would have taken about 5 minutes, officials said. Police meanwhile responded to the fire in 3 minutes 22 seconds.

The Waukesha Police Department began a comprehensive review into the delay, and on Friday, they released their findings.

According to the final report, "In addition to the technical aspects, there were protocol failures that exacerbated the delay of dispatching fire personnel."

The report says the 911/fire dispatcher failed to verify that the fire department got the call and was responding. They said the dispatcher, "failed to manually activate station alerting within one minute of the fire call being entered in the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system."

The Waukesha Fire Department found that there are improvements that should be made to increase redundancies in an effort to avoid single-points-of-failure.

Read the report below:

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