5.16.19 – OKLAHOMA CITY – kfor.com-
Marya Bignell is stuck with repair bills after firefighters burst through her front door in the dead of night.
“That is where the lock was and that was busted in, so this all had to be replaced.”
The damage and Marya’s terrifying ordeal go back a full year.
On that particular night, she was out like a light, and she’s never one to doze off without her trusty CPAP machine.
She’s also half deaf, which explains how she slept right through her front door being busted down
She was finally jolted out of bed by a loud pounding on her bedroom door, which she keeps locked down like Fort Knox, with a deadbolt and 2×4.
She says her first instinct was to grab her gun.
“I say, ‘Who are you?’ They say, ‘Fire Department.’ ‘What for?’ ‘Well, we got a medical alert.’ I said, ‘Nothing is wrong with me.’”
Still in a daze, and understandably suspicious, she calls 911.
“So I put my gun away,” she recalled. “I opened the door and here are these four gorgeous firemen. Hey, what can I say?” Marya’s cracking jokes now, but at the time it was no laughing matter.
OKC firefighters smashed their way through not one, but two of Marya’s doors thinking she was in real trouble.
Not only was there no real emergency, but again, she was packing heat and could have accidentally shot one of ’em.
“I still had it in my hand,” said Marya. “I grabbed it, but I didn’t shoot it.”
Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson tells the In Your Corner team firefighters assumed there was someone inside, who couldn’t get to the door.
“Knowing what I know about this particular call, we did everything exactly the way we should do them,” he told News 4. “Maybe they have fallen and fractured a hip or maybe they’ve had a heart attack. We don’t know.”
Crews were responding to an actual medical alert call with Marya’s address, and that call went out to EMSA and fire dispatch from ADT Security.
“It was a valid Oklahoma address. We responded to that address, couldn’t make contact,” Batt. Chief Fulkerson said. “We forced entry. That’s what we do and again I think the public would expect us to do just that.”
Marya’s not even an ADT customer.
She thinks it’s only fair that someone reimburses her for repairs, but says ADT keeps blowing her off, and city officials won’t pick up the tab either.
For starters, the law “exempts them from liability when providing fire, police, or 911 protection,” and this “clearly was not the city’s mistake.”
At our request, ADT launched their own investigation and found “there was a miscommunication between ADT’s dispatcher and the 911 operator, which led to responders going to the wrong location.
So what about that “miscommunication?”
We went to EMSA to get the actual recording of the medical alert call which has the ADT dispatcher giving the 911 operator Marya’s address for a “medical alarm” alert.
Although, the recording doesn’t tell the whole story.
Turns out, the ADT dispatcher had the correct address all along.
The medical alarm call was actually meant for an ADT customer in Newcastle, who happens to have the same address as Marya.
ADT initially alerted Newcastle 911, but then the call was transferred to Oklahoma City’s 911 dispatch. We’re still trying to figure out why.
Bottom line: emergency responders were sent to the wrong home.
Great news! Marya’s reimbursement check from ADT is finally on the way and could arrive as early as Friday.
We also got to wondering what happened to the person at the home where the medical alert truly was needed.
We’re told it was a false alarm all along.