Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department photo

Smoke detector buys time in Gabriola house fire

Residents’ correct action kept fire from spreading, says fire department

Preparation is credited with preventing a more serious fire on Gabriola Island.

Two people are temporarily displaced from their Gabriola Island home following a fire that could have been worse were it not for the homeowners being prepared for a fire emergency.

Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire in a two-storey home on Tamarack Street shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.

The fire appeared to have started in the home’s chimney, according to Will Sprogis, Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department training officer, and spread into an interior wall of the home. Sprogis said the two residents used the time the smoke detector bought them to make good decisions.

“Basically, they were alerted by their smoke detector and their smoke detector made the difference to them taking quick action,” Sprogis said.

He said the residents took the time to close all their doors, which helped keep the fire from spreading until firefighters arrived.

“I’m really impressed. Most people freak out and they go running out of the house … [the fire] mostly stayed contained,” he said. “It moved from the chimney into a wall cavity beside and it was moving into a neighbouring bedroom, but not too much extension into the building itself.”

Sprogis said because of smoke damage, the residents will likely be displaced from their home for about two days.

He added that Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department is also looking forward to the completion of a road that will allow more direct access from the Albert J. Reed Memorial Fire Hall to the area where the where the fire occurred.

“It was a quick response still, but that location would be about six kilometres closer with a through road,” Sprogis said.
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