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2014-08-16 at 17:51

'Once out, stay out:' Fire Chief says of importance of not re-entering a burning building

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By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – It is never safe to go back into a burning building.

That’s the warning Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is issuing to city residents, in wake of a fatal fire in Ottawa earlier this week, where a 57-year-old woman was killed after going back into her burning townhome in an attempt to save her dog.

“Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building,” Fire Chief John Hay is quoted in a statement that was issued Friday.

“This recent tragedy serves to emphasize the importance of staying outside once you have safely escaped a burning building.”

Fire crews are also asking residents to have home fire escape plans, in case of an emergency. They say everyone should know two ways out of each room and that exits should be kept unobstructed and easy to use.

They also advise having a person responsible for ensuring those vulnerable and needing assistance get out safely.

Tbnewswatch.com(13)

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Comments

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moonpie says:
Sorry chief, if my pets are inside I'm going back in to save them or die trying. I can't imagine what kind of person would stand by and do nothing as their terrified pets burned to death inside.
8/17/2014 2:56:25 AM
Advocate says:
While I appreciate your mindset, as I love my dog with all of my heart, you are now putting others at risk. If a fire fighter now has to risk his or her life to save you, it can be extremely tragic for many more people.
8/17/2014 8:37:13 PM
eventscentre says:
Well said!
8/17/2014 10:53:23 PM
tiredofit says:
It's human nature to want to go back in and save your family members, pets etc.. I know I would.
8/17/2014 9:12:23 PM
tbay87 says:
While I understand it's easiest for emergency services to make "black and white" rules like this - and he's right that it's never safe - in the end it's always a judgement call. If I have pets, or even worse: a family member - inside and feel I'm actually able to help them, I'm probably going inside. In hindsight, it may turn out to be a smart, stupid, or "stupid but lucky" decision, but it's one people have to make using their own judgement.

It's really no different than helping someone who's drowning, being assaulted, etc. - you have to evaluate the risks to yourself (to the best of your ability) and decide if the benefit is worth it. That may vary based on the victim (child, pet, friend, stranger, etc.), but in the end it's all about balancing risks to yourself against helping others.

And in case it comes up: how pets compare to human family members is kind of beside the point since Hay's quote could apply to a human as well.
8/18/2014 12:11:58 AM
rocketship says:
Although we all love our pets, you are not only risking your own life, but also the live's of fire fighters who then have to go in to rescue you!!
8/18/2014 6:28:04 AM
nvjgu says:
Right, not happening there chief. If there's people in there burning.
8/18/2014 7:09:58 AM
unconventional says:
then I guess the funeral home will make a nice service for you and your pet
by the way...would you allow your son, your daughter to go into a burning building?
give your head a shake
8/18/2014 9:30:24 AM
moonpie says:
Would you let your son or daughter become a police officer or join the military knowing there's a good chance they may be seriously injured or killed? Some people are willing to risk their lives to help others, pets included, while others are content to sit back and watch the suffering.
8/19/2014 3:53:37 AM
kurt says:
moonpie - i agree, my dog is more important to me, then most humans are . i would not leave my house - with out him
8/18/2014 9:34:39 AM
AndersonSilvasLeg says:
This is a fine line to cross. However, what's the bigger risk: one animal or one animal and one human life?

Or even, two human lives. Chances are that you're going to succumb to the smoke and perhaps collapse before even finding the loved one (animal or person).

Call me selfish, but it's just as if you were to go back in to "rescue" somebody or something without proper training and equipment.
8/18/2014 11:00:32 AM
my 2 cents says:
If all people followed the "safe" rules there are many hero stories that would never be told. It is a fine line between a tragic story and a heroic effort. In a perfect world, all rescues would be done by the professionals.
At times people put the lives of others above their own safety and I choose not to judge their reasoning. In the same situation I do not know how I would react. On the sidelines I can rationalize that it puts responders at risk, but in the moment instinct can be powerful.
8/18/2014 12:55:14 PM
dan dan says:
This is very sound advice, but it is advice that will not be heeded if there is a loved one trapped in a burning building. The best we can do is hope people don't try to rescue property.
8/20/2014 1:17:35 PM
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