This past month has been moderately busy for your fire department with five calls to report:
- On October 21 seven members responded to a call of an outdoor fire southeast of Bentley on Range Road 1-0. A burning barrel had ignited the surrounding grass and leaves and started to spread up the hill so the landowner wisely called 911 before things got out of hand. He had managed to extinguish it upon firefighters' arrival so the area was thoroughly soaked to prevent any re-ignition.
- In the early morning hours of October 26 ten members were sent to an outside fire on Highway 12 east of town. A caller had reported seeing smoke and fire towards the Blackfalds area so firefighters were sent to investigate what turned out to be an eerie combination of fog, the Northern Lights and a flare stack emitting flame out near Joffre.
- Shortly after 8 am on October 30 crews raced to a structure fire call at a rural residence southwest of Bentley. Sylvan Lake was requested for Mutual Aid. On arrival, all occupants were safely out and no smoke or fire was showing so SLFD was stood down. A burning smell was noted and upon discussion with the residents it was discovered there had been a power surge causing the master bedroom's television to start sparking and smoking. An investigation was conducted using the TIC and no heat was found. A power pole close to the home was eventually discovered by Fortis to be the source of the problem.
- At 7:23 pm on November 16 twelve members were sent to another rural property south of Bentley. The call was sent in as a vehicle fire and was discovered to be an ice fishing shack which was fully involved upon BFD's arrival. The flames were threatening a holiday trailer on one side and a car on the other. All vehicles were searched for occupants while crews extinguished the fire. Upon discussion with the tenant it was discovered a relative had been by earlier to warm up the shack for the season. It was completely destroyed while the trailer and car alongside sustained damage as well. Fortunately no one was in any of the vehicles and the fire had not spread to any of the other many trailers and vehicles stored in the area.
- And on November 17 at 7:30 pm an alarms call was received, sending nine firefighters to a residence in Birch Meadows near the north end of Gull Lake. The occupants noticed a strong metallic smoky smell upstairs just before the smoke detectors throughout the house started sounding. They vacated to their neighbours' home and called 911. The chimney in the home had been professionally cleaned just one week prior and it was advised to have them come back in to check the fireplace. Meanwhile crews investigated with the TIC and gas sniffer. Heat levels had receded and no carbon monoxide was present, however the smoke alarms were 18 years old and all in need of replacing. A new CO2 detector was left with the tenants and all the smoke detectors reinstalled. They were advised not to use the fireplace until it had been professionally inspected and all the smoke alarms had been replaced as well.Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years. If in doubt, the date is printed on every unit. Daylight Savings time in the autumn is a good reminder that it is time to check.