DENVER (CBS4) – Firefighters in Denver responded to a fire in the Park Hill neighborhood on Friday morning. Now fire investigators are interviewing an emergency dispatcher.

An inexperienced dispatcher apparently failed to send fire crews to the house when the call first came in at 5:30 a.m. When a second call came in just after 7 a.m., smoke was pouring from the home.

Neighbor Torry Hughes said he first smelled the smoke an hour and a half earlier.

“I was the call that they didn’t come to,” said Hughes.

Hughes said the dispatcher told him, “He says if you hear or see anything else, call us. That was it.”

Firefighters believe the fire started in the basement of a home on North Ivanhoe. They also believe the situation could have been handled better.

“Could we have done a better job, perhaps. We could have. But the bottom line is we’re not perfect,” said Denver Fire Department spokesman Lt. Phil Champagne.

Denver Fire said they typically don’t send fire rigs until they can pinpoint a specific home, have visible flames or they receive multiple 911 calls.

Champagne also admits the dispatcher could have lacked street experience.

“He didn’t send a rig. We would have hoped one would have been sent. Would it have made a difference? Probably not. But the thing is we need to review our policies and procedures, which we will. Maybe we need to take a hard look at the discretion and take it away and send an automatic response,” said Champagne.

Copter4 video showed flames coming from the basement at about 7:15 a.m. after firefighters arrived.

“They don’t have to send a truck, send a car or someone to look and see because they would have found that fire. You could follow the smoke to the house,” said Hughes.

Firefighters are investigating what sparked the fire.

(credit: CBS)