The Globe's investigation found that fire departments around the country are slower to respond to house fires than in previous years. The problem: lack of fire resources and an increase in responsibilities. Many communities have decreased fire personnel over the years and some communities have trouble convincing residents to pay higher taxes to build new fire stations and increase the size of the departments. In one case, firefighters were responding to a health call when a house fire started. The firefighters did not arrive until it was too late and a woman and her children died in the blaze. Months later, the town's residents did not approve a ballot measure that would have increased the department's size by 8.
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