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Petawawa Fire shares report and offers prevention tips

By Celina Ip

Sean Chase/Daily Observer
Desiree L'Ecuyer deploys hoses as flames engulf a cottage on Petawawa Point this past October, 2017. There were no injuries, however, the blaze destroyed the 75-year-old building. The Town of Petawawa Fire Department brought the fire under control in less than two hours.

Sean Chase/Daily Observer Desiree L'Ecuyer deploys hoses as flames engulf a cottage on Petawawa Point this past October, 2017. There were no injuries, however, the blaze destroyed the 75-year-old building. The Town of Petawawa Fire Department brought the fire under control in less than two hours.

PETAWAWA – The Petawawa Fire Department’s hope for 2018 is to further educate the public in fire safety and to see a decrease in the number of false fire alarms.

 

On Dec. 8, during the Town of Petawawa’s council in committee meeting, Petawawa Fire Chief Steve Knott shared the department’s December 2017 Fire Report that included a number of false fire alarms.

On Dec. 1 and 2, the department responded to two false alarms at the same home address in Petawawa. A few weeks later, on Dec. 20, firefighters responded to another false another at a different address.

According to Knott, the alarms could have easily been prevented by the home owners as they were all sounded due to extreme heat from cooking.

“Upon arriving at the addresses, no action was needed by the fire department on either one,” said Knott. “In total, it cost us $1628 for those three calls, not to mention the wear and tear on our equipment in that cold weather.”

To prevent future false alarms, Knott stressed the importance of being cautious when cooking in order to prevent overheating and burning. Knott will also be contacting them alarm companies to see if they can hatch out a new system whereby the home owners would be contacted first, to determine if it’s a false alarm, before dispatching the firefighters.

Further to that, the public is cautioned about handling ashes from fire places and is reminded to not put them in green bins as the bins are flammable.

Unfortunately for one local homeowner, the warning was not received soon enough and while nobody was injured, their home suffered severe damage on Dec. 12.

Knott stated that the fire was found to have started in the green bin by fire place ashes which were not cooled sufficiently.

“The owner mentioned he had discarded ashes from the fire place into the green bin the night prior to the incident and when we arrived the fire had damaged a large portion of that side of the house,”

According to Knott, if the fire had been burning on a bit longer before the firefighters arrived at 8 a.m., it would have been difficult to salvage the house.

“I think we do an excellent job of telling the people what not to do, but I don’t think we do a very good job of telling them what they should do. So the recommendation from the fire department is that folks spread ashes onto a piece of their property and let them cool and stay there until spring.. It's good for the soil and doesn’t hurt the soil at all,” said Knott.

cip@postmedia.com