WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Family members of a man who died of a heart attack after nearby firefighters didn't help him attended an emotional meeting on Thursday night, where they questioned D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe.
Ellerbe answered questions at a public meeting at Mary McLeod Bethune Public Charter School, and among the dozens of residents who attended were relatives of 77-year-old Cecil Mills.
Mills died in January after collapsing from a heart attack. Firefighters at a station across the street never came to help him despite repeated requests for assistance.
"My sister doesn't have a father, my cousins don't have an uncle," Mills' son Medric said to Ellerbe. "Because of the lack of! Lack, lack Kenny, lack! Lack shouldn't be accepted in this city. This city is supposed to be the flagship of everything this country stands for, and it's not!"
The Mills family questioned why a recent trial board for Lt. Kellene Davis, who was involved in the incident, was closed to the public. Even daughter Marie Mills was turned away.
"In my mind, it's telling me you're hiding something from me or you don't want me to hear what goes on," Mills told Ellerbe, who said it had not been his decision to close the meeting to the public.
Mills grew emotional after his comments and eventually indicated that he had had enough. After listening to a few last words from Ellerbe, he walked out.
Marie Mills said after the meeting she was also not satisfied by what she had heard from Ellerbe.
After the meeting, ABC7 caught up with the chief. He told us:
"What happened to the Mills family is something that shouldn't happen to any family in the District. And we want to make sure we do everything we can to make sure nothing like that happens again."