Friday, July 6, 2012

Looters strike home burned down after 911 delayed response - WFAA


Posted on July 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Updated today at 1:29 PM

DALLAS - Three days after a delayed 911 emergency center response cost an Oak Cliff family their home, they are finding themselves victimized again, this time by looters.
Shujuana Smith-Walker, who is the owners niece, admits she's frustrated.
"I am angry," she said. "I am upset. It's hard to hide the tears".
Smith-Walker said the looters have stole charred antiques and twisted salvageable metal and try to cash in at local salvage yards.
Now, her family has resorted to spending hours in 90 degree heat to protect what seems worthless to some, but valuable to her, and apparently the looters.
"It's not their business to come in here and grab things," Smith-Walker said.
Thursday morning, a Dallas code enforcement officer posted a violation on a brick pillar in front of the house, stating the family has 48 hours to secure all doors and windows from entry to the structure, or face up to $2,000 in fines for each day the violation exists. Only problem, the door and windows are gone. They were burned down in the fire and the family has no money. They allowed their homeowners insurance policy lapse in December.
Jerence Smith, the victim's brother, said the code enforcement officer was just doing his job.

"He was real nice," Smith said. "He was very helpful".
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told News 8 he is heartbroken for the loss of the family's home and is now considering upgrading Dallas' 911 call center.
Dora Fuller, who owns the house and escaped the flames with her family, said she's glad the City of Dallas admitted its mistake.

"I hope they help me buy a new home," she said.

As for the looter, she says "leave my stuff alone."

"I've been through enough," she said.


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