ESTEVAN - Estevan fire crews responded to a report of a structure fire in central Estevan and an alarm coming from Shand greenhouse this week.
The first call for service for the week came in on June 27 at about 2:30 p.m. Firefighters rushed to a reported structure fire occurring in a multiapartment building in the central area of the city. Residents have safely evacuated the four-storey building.
While there were no flames anywhere, light smoke was coming out of one of the apartments on the first level. Firefighters made an entry.
"Medium smoke was found inside the building. Again, no flame was found. However, we did find a pot that was on the stove with some remnants of some cooking. Crews were able to safely and quickly turn off the stove and remove the contents to an unaffected area of the stove to let it cool down. There was no water required for suppression in this particular fire," said Estevan Fire Chief Dale Feser.
Firefighters ventilated the building. The occupants of the apartment weren't on site.
"This was very much the case of unattended cooking. And unattended cooking and cooking-related fires are one of the leading causes of fire fatalities in Canada," Feser said.
He reminded the public to always be present when they start cooking anything and supervise items on the stove or oven throughout the entire process.
The fire alarm system for the building wasn't activated. And Feser praised the residents for quick thinking and action.
"Everybody did a great job phoning 911 quickly, as they heard a local smoke alarm that was going on within the [apartment]. The building fire alarm system was not active at that time," Feser said. "But when in doubt, always make sure that you're calling 911."
He noted that if there's a fire alarm system in place but didn't get activated on its own in case of emergency, residents can set it off at the pull station.
On June 28 at about 1 p.m., fire crews responded to a fire alarm going off at Shand greenhouse southeast of Estevan.
"When crews arrived on scene, it was found that there's a contractor company that was working on the heating and air conditioning system and blowing out vents. They neglected to call the monitoring agency and when they're blowing out the vents, a bunch of dust became airborne and mimicked smoke and set the sensors off for the fire alarm systems," Feser explained.
No emergency was occurring. Crews were stood down after educating the staff at the location about calling the monitoring agency prior to proceeding with any work.
The same day at about 3 p.m., firefighters attended the Sacred Heart/Sacré Coeur School for a spray down.
"Everyone was having a great time up there," Feser said. "It was great to hear all the kids laughing and having a great time and enjoying a little bit of suppression from the heat with a spray-down from the fire department crews."