Firefighters battle five blazes in a week
The year is starting out hot for area firefighters. Already they have responded to 11 fires and five of them between Friday and Wednesday, reports Chief Mark Beals of Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Last year they turned out to 124 for the entire year.
Friday night at Questa Woods a duplex fire was quenched by the department. Five BCVFD units responded to the fire as well as two Seward Volunteer Fire Department units, said Beals. The occupant had been alerted by a smoke detector and able to get out of the building.
Just an hour later the wall behind a woodstove at a home in Camelot caught fire. SVFD sent one unit and BCVFD sent a tanker to the fire. Beals, in his 35 years of firefighting does not remember two fires happening at the same time.
Sunday two chimney fires, one in town and one at Meridian, called out the volunteers from both departments.
Then about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning a call went out for a fire on Old Exit Glacier Road. When responders arrived the Vandriessche home was totally involved, said Beals. Everyone was out of the building and firefighters evacuated the home to the south. Because the wind was blowing from the north, firefighters then worked to cool the north side of the neighboring home. They used about 40,000 gallons of water in the successful effort, reports Beals. Six BCVFD units and three SVFD units were at the blaze where they set up water holding tank that tankers continuously filled, 3,000 gallons at a time, by making runs to a Forest Acres filling station.
With the need to keep warm in this winter’s frigid weather people are using their woodstoves and auxiliary heat sources, said Beals. Precautions, like making sure fire and CO2 detectors are in working order and keeping all ventilation cleared including shoveling snow from around outdoor vents, will protect lives and property.