Lack of fire stations leads to poor response times in Lehigh Acres

Fires can cause damage to structures very quickly, which is why quick response times from firefighters during emergency situations are essential. Right now, families in Lehigh Acres deal with the scary possibility of slow response times during emergencies compared to most areas in the nation.

Neighbors in Lehigh are no strangers to fires, and they hope new talks will fix the area’s desperate need for more fire stations.

Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District averages response times between 15 and 20 minutes, which are nearly triple the national standard.

“It kept jumping from street to street,” Patricia Jones said. “And it just got closer to our house.”

A fire that burns close to home is not easily forgotten.

”Everything’s popping and cracking and stuff flying in the air,” Jones said. ”Does it make me comfortable not having a station closer? No. Not at all.”

But many homes in Lehigh Acres are even farther away from fire stations.

”Not as safe,” Adrina Sepulveda said. “Not as safe at all.”

The Fire Chief Robert Dilallo said this make the average response time more than double the national average in some areas.

“What if somebody was trapped inside the house?” Sepulveda said.

But some here hope with regained support from state representatives, Lehigh Acres can fix the fire station shortage.

There was a previous vote to give Lehigh more money in June, which would’ve help offset costs, but it didn’t pass.

But Rep. Spencer Roach and Chief Dilallo said they will continue to fight for it.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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