Fire de­stroys Swift Cur­rent house

The Southwest Booster - - Front Page - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Mem­bers of the Swift Cur­rent Fire Depart­ment bat­tled hot and windy con­di­tions when re­spond­ing to a two story struc­ture fire in the zero block of 5th Ave. N.E. on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Fire crews ar­rived at ap­prox­i­mately 1:50 p.m. and they found the build­ing fully en­gaged, with smoke and flames from both the north and east side of the build­ing.

“For us, that build­ing, fairly early in that fire, was struc­turally lost. So for us then it be­came re­ally im­por­tant to con­tinue to pro­tect the neigh­bour­ing struc­tures, the yards, to keep it from spread­ing,” Deputy Fire Chief - Pre­ven­tion Pete L’heureux said dur­ing an in­ter­view on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

L’heureux noted their full re­sponse in­volved ap­prox­i­mately 16 fire fight­ers, and six re­spond­ing ve­hi­cles which in­cluded their sup­port and com­mand staff ve­hi­cles.

“The fire had been burn­ing for a lit­tle while be­fore it was re­ported or no­ticed, be­cause the struc­ture wasn’t oc­cu­pied. So it had some time to burn and ex­tend into other ar­eas of the house, in this case which in­cluded mov­ing to the sec­ond floor.”

“For us lots of times a small fire is caught be­fore it ex­pands. A pot on the stove it starts to burn up the cup­boards a lit­tle bit, or it maybe burns into a bed­room or some­thing along that line,” he ex­plained. “But this one was ob­vi­ously more than that. It be­came room and con­tent fire, it ex­tended from floor to floor. At some point, within a short amount of time it was burn­ing on two dif­fer­ent floors.”

He said fire fight­ing in the over 30 de­gree Cel­sius con­di­tions were also a fac­tor in the in­ci­dent.

“It was a hot, windy day, so staffing and safety wise was a con­cern. It was re­ally hot,” he ad­mit­ted. “It made for a chal­lenge in keep­ing staff safe, avoid­ing heat ex­haus­tion and heat stroke and things like that. It was a tough af­ter­noon.”

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