DeKalb fire chief resigns

Foster stepped down on the heels of a botched response in the early morning hours of Jan 24 to what would become a fatal Dunwoody home fire.

He was Gwinnett County’s assistant chief of operations for four years before taking the helm in DeKalb on Jan. 2, 2003, after a nationwide search.

And before that, he had been with DeKalb Fire for more than 15 years.

No reason was given for Foster's departure,  and county officials did not respond to emails asking if Foster's resignation may have been linked to the mishap in the Jan. 24 fire.

Four DeKalb firefighters were fired Friday after an investigation into their response to that fire.

Firefighters responded to a call for help just after 1 a.m., but didn't get out of their vehicles when they arrived at the scene and saw no evidence of a fire.

Five hours later, however, the house was engulfed in flames with 74-year-old Ann Bartlett inside.

The internal investigation determined that the four men fired were guilty of "neglect of duty" because no fire personnel among the initial responders walked up the driveway to investigate.

Just a week before the fatal Dunwoody fire, Foster announced that 64 firefighters would lose their jobs based upon a countywide budget shortfall.

CEO Burrell Ellis quickly reversed Foster's statement the next day, saying that incorrect information had been released, and no fire department jobs would be cut

But Foster has had bright moments, as well.

In 2008 and again in 2009, Foster was named EMS Director of the Year in Region 3.

Ellis has named Deputy Chief Eddie O’Brien as Acting Chief.

Return to AJC.com for more updates.

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