ESTEVAN - Estevan fire crews responded to a carbon monoxide leak and several fire alarms last week.
A CO alarm went off in a residence in central Estevan on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. Occupants safely evacuated the building and phoned 911 for help.
"Crews responded. We did find carbon monoxide readings in the house," said acting Fire Chief Rick Davies. "SaskEnergy was dispatched to the scene. We pinpointed and isolated the issue, and ventilated the house to make sure it was safe for the occupants."
SaskEnergy and firefighters investigated the situation. Davies said that the majority of the time, CO leaks occur in gas-fired appliances, and SaskEnergy experts help the homeowners to determine what may be causing the problem and contact the proper people to get things fixed.
In this case, Davies said it seemed that it was a water heater that leaked CO.
While firefighters see a lot of false CO alarms going off in the community, it's nevertheless vital to have a working device. Besides, the Building Code Regulations now require carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms, or combination CO-smoke alarms, to be installed in all residential buildings in Saskatchewan. If a leak indeed occurs, a CO alarm will help detect it in a timely manner and may save people from CO exposure.
CO is also known as the silent killer, as it is a gas that can kill quickly. It is colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating. If the early signs of CO poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger.
Last Friday at about 8:30 p.m., firefighters were also dispatched to a residential fire alarm going off on the west side of the city. Crews responded and quickly determined that it was a cooking-related incident, and no emergency was occurring.
At about 1 p.m. on Sunday, a commercial fire alarm was triggered on the east side of Estevan. It was determined to have been caused by accidental pole station activation. There was no emergency occurring and firefighters assisted the staff on scene in resetting the panel.
Just after 7 p.m., fire crews were called out again for a residential fire alarm occurring in the central part of the city. Crews responded and determined that it was a faulty alarm. They assisted the homeowner with getting it fixed and reset.
Fire crews were also on duty at the Estevan Motor Speedway’s programs Friday and Saturday.