On Tuesday morning, March 6, a garage caught on fire in South Colby (near Port Orchard). The fire was on John Street and did not spread beyond the garage. Several firetrucks arrived to extinguish it.
Neighbors called 911 around 7am Tuesday morning after seeing a large cloud of black smoke rise from the property. However, the disconcerting thing was not the fire, but the fact that it took several minutes for the dispatcher to clarify the callers' locations. SE Berry St., which overlooks John St., is not registered in that district. On Tuesday, this resulted in neighboring 911 callers having to give the dispatcher on the other end of the line turn by turn directions to the fire which wasted valuable time. Residents of the area say they've experienced similar confusion when calling legislative representatives and having to prove that they are constituents from the concerned area. Google even misrepresents SE Berry Street addresses with its directions and maps.
Residents have been told to take up the issue with the local post office, who told them to contact the fire department. Either way, Cynthia Bruner, a resident of the unrecognized area, wonders: "What happens if we have a fire and it's more than our garage?". Will those minutes wasted in confusion over a long unrecognized location endanger lives?