Campbell River fire crews responded to a house fire on March 11. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror.

Campbell River fire crews responded to a house fire on March 11. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror.

House fire ‘within seconds of growing substantially’ – Campbell River fire chief

Incident shows importance of working smoke alarms

Campbell River fire crews arrived just in time to a house fire on March 11.

At 7 p.m., crews were dispatched for a fire in a home on South Thulin Street. When they arrived, the occupants had evacuated and crews were told that there was smoke coming from the basement area of the home.

“We had our crews enter the home and we located the fire in a downstairs rec room,” said fire chief Thomas Doherty. “The fire was on a sofa chair. Crews were able to contain it to that area. There was no fire damage to the home itself, just to the couch and some smoke damage downstairs.”

However, if they had been only seconds later, Doherty said it could have been a very different story.

“We caught it quickly. It was literally within seconds of growing substantially,” he said. “Smoke alarms activated, which was good… I’m glad it didn’t happen late at night, but people have to make sure they have working smoke alarms.”

The occupants of the home were not injured, but were checked over by BC Ambulance on scene. Doherty said the fire was caused by a heating pad that had been placed on the sofa that had malfunctioned. The damage was limited to the couch itself, a bit of carpet and some smoke damage in the building.

“We cleared out the smoke last night with our ventilation fans, and then we go through after and check CO levels and make sure that levels were down to zero before we let them back in the house,” Doherty said. “They were able to return home last night.”

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