FPO Vezina reminds folks not to leave heating appliances unattendedWednesday, January 23, 2013 by: Kate Adams
Photo provided by loyal BayToday reader D. Mcleod
Chief Fire Prevention Officer Randy Vezina is reminding residents not to leave heating appliances unattended.
The warning stems from a house fire that broke out at 1103 Regina Street at 7:30am Monday morning.
“The call came in at 7:37am and fire crews were on the scene at 7:39am,” Vezina tells BayToday.
“They arrived to smoke visible and soon after flames were shooting out a window. It was a stubborn fire as it got between the walls and climbed quickly to the second floor and attic which had the crew cutting holes in roof with a bullet saw.”
Vezina credits Fire Inspector Sheri Korn, who is a certified fire and explosion investigator, for pinpointing the cause of the blaze.
“The property owner was trying to thaw out a frozen pipe with a heat gun and left it unattended.”
“A heating gun can reach 840 degrees Fahrenheit and can’t be left unattended. Just as you can’t leave ceramic heaters or candles unattended,” he states.
“You also can’t use these types of apparatuses as primary heating source or run them continuously on an extension cord they aren’t designed to carry that kind of load.
He says the home owner attempted to put the fire out with water and then with a chemical extinguisher but it got out of control and that is when North Bay fire crews were called in.
Vezina also credits city workers for their assistance on scene to keep the water from the hoses moving and the streets from becoming dangerous with the freezing cold temperatures.
“City workers did a great job … because we have to keep the water moving they had to build dykes on the street so the water would run down and away from the scene.”
“A city bus was also brought in so the crews could rotate in to warm up.”
Vezina everyone got out of the house without injury but unfortunately a pet cat perished in the blaze.
The house is a write off and damages for structure and content loss is at $250,000 mark.
“What people need to learn from this situation is this – any appliance or device that produces heat needs to be shut off when leaving the room.”