www.firefightingincanada.com

Features Hot topics Incident reports
Structure lost after delayed alarm

Delays in reporting a monitored alarm call to the local fire service may have contributed to the loss of a commercial workshop and office recently. At 2 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2004, the Lake Country (B.C.) Fire Department responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls for a structure fire on Okanagan Centre Road. The area where the structure was located is primarily made up of small commercial orchards with one or two residential structures on each property.

December 13, 2004
By Steve Windsor

Topics

Delays in reporting a monitored alarm call to the local fire service may have contributed to the loss of a commercial workshop and office recently. At 2 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2004, the Lake Country (B.C.) Fire Department responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls for a structure fire on Okanagan Centre Road. The area where the structure was located is primarily made up of small commercial orchards with one or two residential structures on each property.

The building was fully engulfed prior to the fire department being notified. First indications from dispatch were that there was a woman and a child in the building, which proved to be false. The building turned out to be a commercial woodworking shop and office space separated from a detached house and garage by about three feet.

IC Established
The fire chief arrived on scene, followed by Engine 71 with a six-person crew. He conducted his size-up and established Incident Command. A two-person team was directed to protect the exposures while a second hose team of two fire fighters attacked the fire. Water was supplied by Tender 71, a 1,500-gal. tanker. The fire was quickly knocked down but due to the sub-zero conditions run-off water on a sloped concrete driveway made for a very hazardous work area. The five-person crew from the second-in truck, Pumper 71, relieved the initial crew due to the extremely cold conditions.

Investigation
A subsequent investigation revealed that the owner had a monitored alarm system, which had alerted the monitoring station an hour earlier. Due to a high number of false alarms in the previous days, the owners ignored the alarm. An hour later the fire was venting from several openings.

The RCMP and fire department arson investigators determined the fire to be suspicious and further investigation is underway.

lost02_6801
The department
Located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, just north of Kelowna, fire protection for the District of Lake Country is provided by 60 paid-on-call fire fighters and two full-time staff, under the direction of Fire Chief Steve Windsor. Operating out of three stations, frontline apparatus consist of one 1050-Igpm pumper/rescue, two 1050-Igpm pumpers, three 1,500-gal. tenders, a Ford F-550 CAFS unit, a 625-Igpm mini-pumper, a bush truck with 300 gallons of water and 30 gallons of Class A foam, three command vehicles and two rigid-hulled Zodiac rescue boats. It protects a rural-suburban area made up of private residences, apple and grape farms and an industrial park. The department responds to over 600 calls annually, and has been experiencing an 18 per cent increase in call volume annual over the last five years. In 2004 it responded to 21 structure fires and 100 MVAs compared to 13 and 60 in 2003.

lost01_6800


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*