Fire chief Chris McDonough of the South Dundas Fire & Emergency Services is crediting a working smoke detector with saving the lives of residents of Unit 33 in Hill’s Trailer Park at an early morning fire, September 5, 2015.
“The residents went to bed about 8:30 p.m.,” Chief McDonough said. Around 3:30 a.m. “the smoke alarm woke them up. They came out of the bedroom and discovered the front of the (trailer home) was in flames, and the residence was full of smoke. The detector definitely saved their lives, and possibly the lives of their neighbours.”
The call to the fire department came in at 3:30 a.m., and crews arrived on the scene at 3:38 a.m.
“The homeowner was extinguishing the fire with a garden hose,” McDonough said. “He had knocked most of the fire off. Crews quickly finished putting out the flames and saved the owner’s four cats. (Using the garden hose) was quick thinking on the owner’s part, but I wouldn’t advise doing that for everybody.”
The home owner was treated for smoke inhalation by EMS and released. The cats in the residence also were treated for smoke inhalation.
The homeowner praised the speed with which the fire services responded to his call.
“This fire department was just amazing, amazing,” he said. “I don’t know how they got here so fast. I was grateful.”
Damage to Unit 33, county road 31, is estimated at $50,000. The cause of the fire is still being determined.
Working smoke alarms in this residence were definitely a factor in the positive outcome for the homeowner and for the surrounding residences in the mobile home park.
“The smoke alarm was the key,” Chief McDonough said. “Our crews will be going out in the next few weeks to talk to the residents and ensure that they have working smoke alarms.”