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Onlooker prevents spread of house fire, AFD

Quick thinking from an onlooker helped keep a July 5 fire from spreading, according to the Airdrie Fire Department (AFD).

When the fire ignited in a two storey-home on Silver Springs Way N.W. – at around 5 p.m. – AFD said, the two occupants ran into the street yelling for assistance and caught the attention of nearby construction workers. While one worker called 9-1-1, according to the release, another ran into the home armed with a portable fire extinguisher and attempt to extinguish the blaze.

“We don’t recommend putting yourself in harm’s way, but at the same time, people do some pretty immediate things when they feel that other people’s lives or properties are at risk,” AFD Deputy Chief Garth Rabel said. “Having the fire department coming is definitely the right thing to do. We do acknowledge his unselfish and timely act.”

Rabel said the construction worker was able to temporarily hold the fire in check and rescue three dogs who remained in the home.

“Without his unselfish and timely assistance, the fire would have had the opportunity to quickly grow and spread, causing even greater damage,” according to the release.

After arriving on the scene, AFD said, firefighters entered the home and determined a pot of oil being used for cooking had overheated, ignited and “abruptly extended upwards into the overhead microwave oven and cabinets.”

Once the fire was extinguished, crews used a thermal imaging camera to ensure it had not spread. Damage to the structure and contents, according to AFD, is estimated to be nearly $50,000. No injuries were reported.

Rabel reminds residents kitchen fires remain one of the leading causes of residential fires. He stresses the importance of remaining aware while cooking, and ensuring an easily-accessible residential fire extinguisher is located in the kitchen.

“This is the fifth kitchen fire we’ve had in 2019,” he said. “It’s alarming for us because it’s been numerous fires. We try to educate the public after each and every incident, so that we can learn and move on. Unfortunately, scenarios like this still occur.”


Nathan Woolridge

About the Author: Nathan Woolridge

Nathan Woolridge
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