Updated:SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —
A Seminole County home destroyed in a lightning fire earlier this month was less than 2 miles from the site of a planned fire station.
Now, more than 200 residents have signed a petition begging for the station to be built on Aloma Avenue north of Dean Road.
The homeowners weren’t inside the Aloma Woods home when it was struck by lightning on July 4, but their pets were.
“They lost everything,” said Corrina Brown.
Brown launched the online petition to push for the fire station, and WFTV found out there has been money to build the station since 2009.
The planned fire station would be half a mile from a fatal house fire that happened less than a year ago in the historic Jamestown community.
Three people died while waiting for help.
“It took the first unit roughly nine minutes to get on scene,” said Michael Edmiston, the secretary and treasurer of Local 3254.
The Seminole County fire union has been pushing for the station too.
Public safety officials said even though the county has money to build the station, they don’t have the money to man and equip it.
“We have hired roughly 100 people since 2009. Somewhere in there we have 15 people who can man a fire station,” Edmiston said.
The two closest Seminole County fire stations are both two and a half miles away—one in Winter Springs and the other in Winter Park.
It takes about six and a half minutes to drive from one to the other.
“We need to be anywhere in five minutes. We cannot make it here in under 10 minutes, typically, at 5 in the afternoon,” Edmiston said.
County leaders said the goal is to have the station open in two years.
Brown hopes her efforts force it to happen sooner.
“We really need this one here closer and sooner, before more tragedy hits,” she said