Did a DC fire station leave a man to die steps away?

NORTHEAST, DC (WUSA9) -- An internal investigation is underway into why a fire station refused to respond to an emergency right across the street from the fire house.

Mayor Vincent Gray says he's outraged and that people will be held accountable for leaving a man to die just steps away.

Marie Mills says her father Cecil Mills worked for the District's Parks and Recreation Department for nearly five decades.

"My dad was a wonderful dad. My dad was my best friend. My dad would help anyone," Marie Mills said.

Cecil Mills suffered from a massive heart attack on the sidewalk right across the street from a fire house on Rhode Island Avenue NE Saturday.

"I stood on that corner and cried, 'Please help my dad. Please don't let my dad die.' When he wasn't getting up, my reaction was to go be with my dad," Marie Mills said.

When she begged the fire fighter to come help she got no response.

"He just leaned up against the fire engine with his arms folded the entire time. I can't get that image out of my head," said Mills.

Strangers ran across the street to the fire house multiple times, but were told various excuses and that they needed to call 911, which they had.

"What does policy and procedure have to do with why can't they help the man?" Mills asked.

"I don't accept that. Common sense and common decency would've said you go to someone in distress," Gray said. "Who in the world is going to punish someone for violating protocol but you save someone's life in the process? I'm not buying that."

The paramedics and ambulance were on another call. At least 5 fire fighters who had basic Emergency Medical Technician training were there and capable of giving CPR.

The ambulance ended up arriving in the wrong location, 26 blocks away in Northwest. The daughter says a stranger ended up flagging down an ambulance.

Marie says they were visiting a computer shop on Saturday when her father collapsed. Cecil, also known as the 'mayor' of the neighborhood, had bought his daughter a laptop.

Paul Quander, the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety echoed Mayor Gray's sentiments, but he wants a thorough investigation before any action.

The Firefighters' union says the protocol should have been able to alert the entire firehouse and run across the street to render help.

There is talk the firefighter was a rookie, but both the family and the mayor says human decency would've have told him to help the dying man.


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