Fire reinforces need for detectors

These two smoke detectors saved the day for the two residents in this house. Photos courtesy of Point Roberts fire department.

By Meg Olson

Fire chief Christopher Carleton is crediting a pair of smoke detectors with helping to save the lives of two local residents and their pets from a devastating house fire.

“These lasted long enough to wake them and save their lives,” Carleton said, looking at the image of two melted detectors.

Occupants reported the fire at their APA Road home shortly after 3:30 a.m. and crews arrived within 10 minutes. “When we arrived there were flames 50 feet in the air,” Carleton said. Firefighters knocked the fire down quickly with a high velocity master stream from the outside before heading into the structure to offensively fight the blaze, Carleton said.

Homeowner Carol Gilmartin said they were grateful for the quick response from the fire department. Since the fire, she said, “we have had an outpouring of generosity from the community and we are so grateful.”

Carleton emphasized the importance of having operational smoke detectors and encouraged everyone in the community to take advantage of the department’s free smoke detector program, in place since 2013. ”I know there are plenty of homes here with no working smoke detectors and there shouldn’t be,” he said.

The department will provide and install the smoke detectors as well as providing fire safety information. “We will also do home safety inspections to insure there are no hazards,” Carleton said.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the free service can call the fire station at 360/945-3473.

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