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REPORTING · 16th July 2014
Walter McFarlane

On Monday, July 14th, at 1:24 pm, the Kitimat Fire Department responded to a Fire at 27 Lillooet Street. The cause of the fire is still under investigation although a preliminary investigation identified the area of origin as the Kitchen.

“The report came in as a kitchen fire, a structure fire which started in the Kitchen. Engine 11 responded with one of the ambulances. Upon arrival, we noticed quite a bit of smoke and flame from the structure. We got early notification that everybody was out of the structure, nobody was inside,” said Deputy Fire Chief of Prevention, Peter Bizarro.

Bizarro stated putting out the fire was a challenge due to some heavy south winds. With the summer heat, the windows in the burning house were open and the wind stoked the flames. It took fire fighters 3 hours to fight the fire.

Another challenge was a hydro line which was down. The fire fighters had to work around it and crews from PNG and BC Hydro, as well as the RCMP were quickly on the scene and ready to assist.

“Unfortunately, the structure was lost so we were unable to save that,” said Bizarro.

The house was attached to one of its neighbours via a garage. The neighbouring house was also evacuated prior to the Fire Department’s arrival as well. There was only smoke damage to the attached house.

Bizarro emphasized the importance of knowing what to do in the case of a fire.

“The kids, there were three young children in the residence, they reported the fire to the mother. Once they had done that, they notified the mother and the father in the structure there was a fire and they left the house. Once they left the house, they did not go back in. That is something that we teach in our schools and I think it’s proven again the value of teaching the kids those very important life safety skills,” said Bizarro.

The neighbours assisted, alerting everyone in the neighbourhood to the fire and making sure they would not be affected by the smoke.

“They did a fantastic job of ensuring public safety and [alerting] people that were affected by the smoke that was blowing in their directions,” said Bizarro.
Comment by MARK on 18th July 2014