Working smoke alarms save residents

Working smoke alarms save residents
By Dave Johnson
Welland Tribune
Link to article: Working smoke alarms save residents

Working smoke alarms alerted residents of 22 Louis St. to a fire Sunday night in Port Colborne, says Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bendia. He says the fire caused between $75,000 and $100,000 damage. Dave Johnson/Welland Tribune

Residents of a Louis Street home are alive today because of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, says Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Chief Mike Bendia.

Bendia says firefighters were called to 22 Louis St. at 10:07 p.m. Sunday for the report of a structure fire. When they arrived on scene, it “was rocking pretty good.”

“There were five people in the house and they all got out safely because the smoke alarms did exactly what they were supposed to do. We’re pleased the home had working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms … it was a compliant home,” he says.

Port Colborne’s fire service has been aggressively pushing the use of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in homes after a fatal fire on Nickel Street in December 2016 where four family members died.

In Ontario, smoke alarms are mandatory on every storey of a home and outside all sleeping areas, and any residence with a fuel-fired appliance requires a carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas or if there is an attached garage. Carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory in all new builds in the province, as well.

Bendia says 20 career and volunteer firefighters were on scene of Sunday’s fire until 11:45 p.m., while he was on scene until 3 a.m. Monday waiting for a company to board up and secure the home, a rental property.

Fire prevention officer Scott Lawson attended the scene with Bendia to investigatie the cause of the fire.

Bendia says the fire was contained to a second-floor bathroom and is undetermined at the moment, though it is believed to be accidental in nature.

“It doesn’t appear suspicious,” he says.

The two men pegged the damage at between $75,000 and $100,000, saying there was a lot of water and smoke damage inside the home.

Bendia credits the crew on Engine 1 for a quick knockdown of the fire, keeping it from spreading throughout the two-storey home.

He says all of the fire trucks that were on scene were being checked over Monday due to the cold and snowy conditions faced while battling the blaze.

“We do that after a night fire in that kind of weather … we go over everything.”

<back to Headlines