Everybody gave a hand to help the residents evacuate.
About forty-five seniors, some of them with reduced mobility, had to be evacuated from the Manoir Stanstead last Wednesday evening, around 8:30 pm, after a caregiver noticed smoke and a strong burning odor on the second floor. Most of the seniors were bussed to Stanstead College while the less mobile seniors were taken to the CAB RH Rediker’s building where they were picked up by family members.
Despite the cold, the evacuation went smoothly thanks to the efforts of many. “All of the staff were helping and all of the employees who were off at the time came from home to help,” said the grateful manager of Manoir Stanstead, Patricia Fratelli. Stanstead College’s Director of Business Operations, Ian Jackson, coordinated his school’s response and many Stanstead College students also took part in the effort. “Mylene LaBonté of the CAB called to offer to open the CAB for some of our seniors,” added Ms. Fratelli.
“Part of the certification procedures for a seniors’ residence is to provide a fire safety plan. My plan is with Stansted College and we have a written agreement with them that in the case of evacuation, they provide the busses and shelter for our seniors,” explained Ms. Fratelli. “You never wish for something like this to happen but to see the plan flow so well…We do fire drills about every six months, at least once a year, so the residents are very good with drills and they help each other.”
“The firefighters also did an amazing job. Around 1:00 am Jean Fluet decided to maintain the evacuation because the source of the smoke still couldn’t be found,” continued the manager. The residents were brought back to the Manoir Stanstead the next morning, between 8:30 and 9:00 am.
The source of the smoke is still being investigated, however, it has been determined that the smoke did not originate with the building itself. An electri- cian opened some walls to check the wiring just to be sure, and there were no signs of any problems. None of the building’s sprinklers, which are activated by heat rather than smoke, went off.
“I’d like to say an enormous ‘Thank you’ to everyone involved with the evacuation: the staff, the fire-fighters, the seniors, the students and everyone who volunteered. I’ll be planning something special to show my thanks,” concluded Ms. Fratelli.
Stanstead College students with one of the Manoir residents who were evacuated.
Resident and helpers at the makeshift evacuation centre.