January 09, 2015 - 10:25 AM
VERNON - Fire forced three Vernon women out of their home in the middle of the night.
Deputy fire chief Jack Blair says the smell of smoke in their 33 Street residence woke them up around 12:30 a.m. this morning, Jan. 9.
“They were very lucky they woke up,” Blair says. “It could’ve been a lot worse in two more minutes.”
When firefighters arrived they discovered the fire had started on a table in the basement. They quickly knocked down the fire, but the basement sustained heavy smoke damage. Damages are estimated to be in the $50,000-$100,000 range.
“It appears it (fire) may have been electrical in nature,” Blair says. “We’re not sure exactly what it is... it’s hard to determine because it’s melted, but it appears to be an electrical device made of plastic.”
The women were taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital for treatment of possible smoke inhalation. Due to the toxic smoke from the plastic device, Emergency Social Services was called to arrange safer accommodation for the residents.
Blair says it will be some time before they can return home. An inspection of the smoke detector revealed it didn't have any batteries in it. Deputy fire chief of prevention Lawrie Skolrood says the residents are extremely lucky.
"If you take them (batteries) out make sure you put them back in. They (residents) might’ve been replacing this one and forgot to put them back in," Skolrood says.
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—This story was updated at 2:55 p.m. Jan. 9 to include additional information from deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood.
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