Family Plans to Sue 911 System over Dispatching Mistake

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MOCANAQUA — Newswatch 16 has learned the family of a woman who died in a fire in Mocanaqua plans to sue Luzerne County’s 911 system.

An investigation revealed it was human error that caused fire crews to be sent to the wrong location back in May and not a problem with the county’s computer dispatch and phone system. 52-year-old Michelle Dzoch died in the fire.

One Luzerne County dispatcher was fired and another suspended as a result of the mistake.


  • Joe

    So…thanks to an attorney, there is a price for human life…forget the fact that unsupervised children were playing with a lighter, forget that the call taker repeatedly told the caller NOT to let anyone go back into the building, forget the community’s responsibility to assist 9-1-1 in rectifying addressing issues that were identified 12 years ago…tragic?…yes… Worthy of litigation?…absolutely not!

    • Beth

      It couldnt have been said any better! As far as Im concerned the mother to the children shouldve been watching her kids.but knowing them personally like I do youd know that she was uncapable of taking care of herself let alone the children. The mother of the grandchildren who started the fire should be more than held responsible for it and the family should not recieve any money. The mother should not have the children in her care and because this happened she should be taking parenting classes for how irresponsible she was. This is why people should be evaluated before leaving the hospital with their children. Ive seen cases where parents lost their children to the system for petty bullshit and never get their kids back, where is the children services when something like this happens? Its nearly as irresponsible as story with the mobile meth lab in the back yard of a residency with 4 children here in shickshinny. The mother knew about it ( it was her brothers who lived with her, so how could you not? ) and she still has her 4 children, luzerne county is corrupted! As far as im concerned they get rich over their families stupidity and lack of responsibility… what a beautiful world it is today!

      • countrygirl

        For one beth u don’t now the family personally. U need to get ur story straight. The family don’t like u. At least I now them kids don’t now just bout every curse word in the book. U need classes BC last I knew ur not suppose to do drugs around ur kid. N what is it a crime to let kids play in there room wit there toys n watch tv n check on them every 10 mins. I believe it’s not. U need to wry bout ur own family BC u ain’t no mother of the year n I now that for a fact. N the grandmother never came out of the house. She went right up stairs to try to put the fire out like any other person would n the time the daughter called 911 her mom was filling the bucket wit water. It was just an accident. So everyone needs to the facts straight before opening their mouth.

    • countrygirl

      For one the kids were playing in their room like they did everyday. Is it a crime for them to play in their room. I believe not. N she never came out of the house. She went right up stairs to put fire out. So u need to not listen to rumors. N no the call taker didn’t say that. BC the grandmother was already upstairs in the bathroom at that time when she told her daughter to call

  • Dan5099

    Let kids play with lighters and your survivors get wealthy courtesy of the tax payers. Sounds about right.

    • countrygirl

      They didn’t let the kids play wit lighters. They were playing in their room. They had no idea they had a lighter. Is it a crime for kids to play in their room. Do u stand over ur kids in their room when their in their 24/7. I don’t think so

  • Scanner Man

    To just fire the call taker is unbelievable. Dispatcher #1 as he is referred to is directly to blame for this whole situation. One of the first comments in the call says Mocanaqua. He states Mocanaqua in the dispatch. Then argues with field units who tell him to send Mocanaqua for 6 minutes. He is absolutely horrible at his job, always has been. This is just the first time it’s been publicized. Keep digging WNEP. This whole thing should have never happened if he actually knew how to do his job and did the right thing from the start.

  • Steph

    The woman went back in and her grandkids started the fire. If i was on this jury I dont know if I would reward the family with money.

    • Luzerne Firefighter

      I don’t know why the County is hiding the fact the the Dispatcher who was on the radio sending units refused to listen to the Fire Department that was wrongly dispatched. The Dispatcher who seems to be untouchable there because he has over 20 years on the job is horrible. It was directly his fault! Anyone who listened to the dispatch knows this. Thats why the County isnt releasing the tapes. The Dispatcher specifically said “Mocanaqua, Conyngham Borough. The Valley Regional Fire Department immediately got on the radio and told him that if the caller said Mocanaqua then 911 needs to send them as well and do a “dual dispatch” of both departments to cover all bases. The dispatch directly told him NO that the info infront of him said Conyngham Borough so that is who he was going to send. It wasnt until more calls started to flood the 911 Center as to the actual location that he caved and sent Mocanaqua Fire Co. Things need to change. WNEP there is so much more to this story… just keep digging and get the audio tapes. The dispatch audio was posted on Facebook Firewire sites for a bit so they are out there. I feel bad that only one was fired.

    • countrygirl

      She did not go back in. She never came out. She went right up stairs to put fire out. Ppl need to get their story straight before running their mouths. N they didn’t let the kids play wit a lighter.

    • countrygirl

      She never came out. She went right upstairs to put the fire out like anyone would to save their house. N no one let the kids play wit a lighter. They went up to play in their room like they did everyday. It was just a horrible accident.

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