‘Smoke alarms save lives’: Nanaimo family-of-seven escapes house fire

'Smoke alarms save lives': Nanaimo family-of-seven escapes house fire
City of Nanaimo
Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews attended a house fire on June 2, there were no injuries but extensive damage to the home

An Island family is safe after escaping a fire that sparked in their Nanaimo home on Tuesday, thanks to their smoke detectors.

The City says the fire started in the basement suite in the afternoon at Kamp Place. The tenant was not home at the time of the fire.

“Fortunately the family upstairs had working smoke alarms and safely escaped the residence,” The City of Nanaimo said in a release on Friday.

The basement suite, where the fire started, had no working smoke alarms, according to the City of Nanaimo.

The upstairs tenants, a family of seven, was alerted to the fire due to the smoke and were able to evacuate and return to their suite afterwards.

While the family was unharmed, the basement suite was not as fortunate as the City says it suffered significant damage.

The cause of the fire is accidental in nature, and the Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews are reminding everyone about the dangers of Lithium Polymer batteries.

“Lithium Polymer batteries are very powerful and require heightened awareness of their potential for fire due to improper charging, discharging, or cell damage. Any one of these three issues can cause the battery to become a fire hazard,” said the fire rescue.

Nanaimo Fire also says additional safety measures might be needed when charging these types of batteries such as the use of a LiPro bag or metal box to contain the batteries.

Crews say a smoke alarm in the basement suite could have alerted the upstairs residents sooner and might have prevented the amount of damage sustained.

Smoke alarms also saved another Nanaimo family on May 31, alerting three people in the home to evacuate.

“Electrical fires are one of the top three causes of fire,” said Alan Millbank, fire prevention officer of the Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

“This fire was preventable and the damage and extensive loss of the occupant’s possessions could have been minimized had the working smoke alarms been connected. Smoke alarms save lives and property.”

The City of Nanaimo has a three-minute video on Youtube, detailing the importance of smoke alarms and how to properly manage them.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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