Family of Cecil Mills to hold news conference at site across str - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Family of Cecil Mills to hold news conference at site across street from DC fire station

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Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr. Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr.

On Thursday morning, the family of Cecil Mills will gather across the street from the D.C. firehouse where he suffered a massive heart attack 11 days ago and hold a news conference with their attorney.

The 77-year-old collapsed and died after firefighters at the station failed to come to his aid despite numerous pleas for help.

After days of silence, the fire chief finally spoke out Tuesday night, calling the emergency response regretful and tragic.

In an interview with FOX 5's Will Thomas, Chief Kenneth Ellerbe said he was sorry about what happened to Mills, a man he knew well. Ellerbe says he said as much to the Mills family and intends to hold people accountable for what happened.

Ellerbe stayed silent for 10 days and said nothing publicly about the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of the long-time D.C. government employee until he was stopped by FOX 5 outside a community meeting.

"I don't want to paint the department with a broad brush because of this singular incident,” he said. “It's a tragic incident and it's something I wish had not happened and it is something we are investigating and we plan to conclude our investigation as quickly as possible.”

As FOX 5 first reported, the Mills family had a relationship with Chief Ellerbe. Mills’ son, Medric, went to high school with him, and Marie Mills called the chief in the hours after her father’s death.

In the interview, the chief expanded on that relationship.

"I knew Mr. Mills. He was somebody that I knew well and she knows, I am sure, that I am sorry about what happened and regret that it occurred. We are an agency responsible for taking care of the city,” said Ellerbe.

The focus of the investigation is on the lieutenant in charge that afternoon.

Kellene Davis is on desk duty along with another firefighter identified as G. Murphy.

In a letter to the chief, Davis threw Murphy under the bus and blamed the failure to cross the street to help Mills on him. A rookie, identified by sources, as Remy Jones, is the firefighter who heard the pleas for help.

He has been transferred, but remains on the job.

A separate investigation is being conducted by the Office of Unified Communications, which is trying to learn why an ambulance was sent to Northwest D.C. instead of Northeast D.C.

The Mills family has hired Karen Evans of the Cochran Firm to represent them; an attorney with a resume that includes service in the Air Force Nurse Corps and a specialty in medical malpractice.

The entire Mills family will be at the news conference including Cecil Mills’ widow.

Exactly what they are planning to say is unclear.

Continuing Coverage:

#dcfirefail: Man dies of heart attack near DC fire station

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