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Neighbors say 911 mistake cost Kokomo woman her life

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KOKOMO, Ind. (July 15 2015)-- Two weeks ago, a 50-year-old woman died after it took firefighters more than 13 minutes to respond to the emergency less than one mile from their station.

The victim died after fire crews were initially sent to the wrong address.

Tammy Ford had trouble breathing and called 911 for help, but by the time emergency crews showed up 17 minutes after the call came in, it was too late to save her life.

“Tammy lived above me and she was a good friend,” said Steven Gentry. “What happened to her was an atrocity.”

Gentry agrees with others who live in the apartment building, who think that Ford's death could have been avoided.

“I think it’s a doggone shame,” said neighbor David Beck. “She was a sweet person and a sweet lady.”

“It was wrong and the City should take care of the problem,” said neighbor Joseph Caudill.

According to the official dispatch notes, Tammy called 911 from her apartment at exactly 1:41 a.m.

Fire crews were dispatched from the fire station at 1:45 a.m.

After driving to the wrong address first, they showed up at the Terrace Towers apartments at 1:58 a.m.

“The 13 minutes probably would have saved her life and somebody’s got to be held accountable,” said Beck. It’s just wrong all the way around. It’s a sad situation.”

“It was a terrible tragedy and things like that should not happen,” said Gentry.

Officials with the 911 call center didn’t want to talk about the case because the death remains under investigation.

The City of Kokomo Tweeted the following statement: