A close call occurred at Fishhawk Marina at the home of Glenn and Alana Strom in Crawford Bay. A fire ignited in the garage which is attached to the house. The wood for heating the house was smoldering and smoking, with embers and flames visible inside of the pile when Trevor Ferguson showed up to work on the router. No one was home. Ferguson quickly called Alana and informed her about it, put calls in for assistance and set to work. Many volunteers showed up quickly and helped remove the burning firewood. Several first responders also attended to assist with securing the animals on site and with public safety. A couple of bunnies who were exposed to the smoke were given oxygen while local volunteers got the fire under control and saved the house.
Chief Cory Medhurst sent in information about these pet masks which are now being used by the Riondel Fire Department and First Responders. He wrote: We received our 3 pet mask sets for all apparatus in 2016; with yesterday’s fire being our first use. Why we used the mask and oxygen on January 2/2020 is that I had noticed PFF Ali George inspecting the rabbits in the cage, specifically one breathing extremely fast. I also noticed the cage had been scorched by flames, telling me the pets were pretty much in direct contact with the flames. I asked her if she wanted to administer some oxygen with our pet masks to which she replied, “Yes please!”. Within the three sizes we have for pets, Ali found the one that fit and gave the bunny oxygen for approx 20 minutes or more. She also administered oxygen to the other bunny for a short period, who seemed to be okay. A note on our response to this event: As this potential structure fire was out of our fire boundary, our members responded in our Rescue truck for public safety to ensure that those community members helping out stayed safe, and to ensure that any possible occupants of the home were assessed, including any pets that may have been exposed to smoke. Our response to these incidents is limited to medical First Responders attending to essentially watch the public try and effectively put out a fire. There is no fire coverage for any of the communities on the East Shore with the exception of Riondel and Riondel Road North, South and East.
Alana Strom, who was on the other side of the lake at the time, wrote in with the following message:
“I want to send a great big thank you to all of the kind people who dropped what they were doing and rushed to save my house and animals.
‘A special thank you to Trevor Ferguson from ESIS who discovered the fire in my garage and rushed right in through the thick smoke more than once to put it out (and fixed my internet).
‘Thank you to Cory and all of the wonderful volunteer first responders: Al, Ali, Rowan, Felix, Christy, Chuck, and Robert, who arrived so quickly and were such a huge help. Also thank you to Myrna, Janet, Juergen, Ingrid, Luke, Steve, Brian, Matt, Kristy and the staff on the ferry. The community not only helped to save my house, but also made sure my bunnies, bird and dog were out and safe. They also went above and beyond and gave my bunny oxygen. I am so grateful to live in a community where people are so willing to drop everything to help. Thank you all so much.”