“If we didn’t have smoke alarms here, none of us would have made it out.”
Rob Fletcher lives in the unit right next to last weekend’s structure fire in a room at the Tournament Inn in Valleyview. He credits the smoke alarm going off in that room for saving the lives of his two neighbours and possibly his own.
He says that when the sound of the alarm woke him up at about 4 a.m. on March 2, he jumped out of bed to see what was going on and saw flames next door. He immediately called 911 and then kicked on their back door to make sure they were awake.
“They wouldn’t have made it (out), it went up so quick that by the time the fire department got here the cars out front were already on fire.”
Kamloops Fire Rescue’s Engine 3 was first on the scene, arriving a few minutes after Fletcher called 911. Flames had already erupted from the back and front of the unit, setting trees, a gazebo, and two vehicles on fire.
Thanks to the alert from the smoke alarm and Fletcher’s quick actions, no one was injured and many of the rooms had already been evacuated. Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire before any other units became involved.
Fire Investigator Kevin Cassidy said, “The room involved had completely flashed over, meaning it was completely engulfed in fire. Those conditions would not have been survivable.”
“KFR has been actively working with the owners of this property over the last year to ensure that all of the units are equipped with functioning smoke alarms,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer Dean Olstad.
Kamloops Fire Chief Steve Robinson added, “We know for certain that at least two Kamloops residents are alive today because their residence was equipped with functioning smoke alarms.”
— City of Kamloops news release