As the Waldo Canyon fire was threatening and burning homes, thousands of people never got the call to evacuate.
According to a report obtained from El Paso-Teller E-911, 118,000 calls went out to alert people to evacuations, pre-evacuations and evacuation orders being lifted from June 23-30. But about 22,000 of those calls, nearly 20 percent, are listed as "abandoned."
"Those calls were queued up and they were sent by our server through the phone lines that we access, but somewhere between them being sent by the server down the lines to the recipient, those calls never made it," said Ben Bills, spokesperson for El Paso-Teller E-911.
It's not clear exactly why the calls didn't go through. Bills said calls were only attempted twice before being classified as abandoned and not re-tried.
TARGET 13 asked if the emergency notification system that's run by Cassidian Communications is flawed in its design.
"I think we need to isolate exactly why those calls were abandoned before we can say the system has any flaws in it," said Bills.
He said there is going to be an investigation into what happened and efforts made to do better in the future.
"In the coming weeks, we're going to dig deeper into those reports and figure out exactly why those calls went abandoned," said Bills.
He said the notification system reaches out to people in multiple ways, and people can choose to get alerts by text message or email. He said, when a large volume of notifications need to go out, it's easier for the system to reach people those two ways instead of through a phone call.
Bills said the Mountain Shadows couple who died in the fire did not register for emergency notification notices. Family members of William and Barbara Everett say the pair was preparing to leave their home after mandatory evacuation orders were issued. It's still not known why the Everetts, both in their 70s, weren't able to make it out in time.
To register for emergency notifications go to http://www.elpasoteller911.org or call 719-785-1900 Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.