Prince Rupert Fire Rescue, along with RCMP and BC Ambulance attended a fire at the 104-year-old West End Restaurant on Aug. 10. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue, along with RCMP and BC Ambulance attended a fire at the 104-year-old West End Restaurant on Aug. 10. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Fire crews save 104-year-old Prince Rupert restaurant in six minutes

Fire extinguisher training essential, by the time you’re outdone by fire, you’re over your head — PRFR

Kitchen flames at the 104-year West End Restaurant had Prince Rupert Fire Rescue, RCMP and BC Ambulance crews attend the Third Avenue business in the 600 block of Third Ave., on August 10, just after the start of the business day.

Deputy Fire Chief Chad Cooper said the call to respond to a fire in the commercial premises was received at 9:16 a.m. and was upgraded to a three-alarm fire in which additional firefighters were called in from off duty to assist.

“Upon arrival, fire crews encountered thick smoke coming out the front door 0f the occupancy and smoke ventilating through the roof,” Cooper said.

“Fire crews made quick entry and made their way to the kitchen area where they were able to quickly suppress the fire.”

The deputy chief said the crew of 12 firefighters in three apparatus trucks had the blaze extinguished within six minutes.

“It was extremely fast. So, we credit them. This fire could have been a lot more damaging. It potentially could have taken out a couple of businesses on either side of it.”

Cooper said had the fire crews not shown up quickly, another five to ten minutes would have rendered a different outcome for the older building with lots of concealed spaces where flames can spread too.

“Once it gets into the concealed spaces of these older main street style buildings, it becomes very difficult to extinguish the fire,” Cooper explained, adding there was not a lot of damage as the fire was contained to the kitchen.

BC Ambulance staff assessed two people at the scene and released them at the site.

The deputy fire chief issued a caution to the public about using fire extinguishers and ensuring they are in the correct capacity.

“[We also] want to remind residents … fire extinguishers are meant for egress purposes only and very, very small fires.”

“Sometimes you can get in over your head trying to extinguish a fire with an extinguisher,” he explained, “You’re also putting yourself at risk of breathing in toxic smoke.”

The deputy chief said everyone should have some fire extinguisher training. As there are so many different sizes of extinguishers with various suppression materials, a person could be fighting a fighter too big for the size of the safety equipment.

Fire extinguishers are ideal for small rubbish fires, small incipient fires or to use as protection for a path of travel on your way to exit a building, the fire professional said.

“By the time you realize you’ve been outdone by the fire, then you’re in over your head. At that point, you potentially could become a victim for the firefighters to try to extricate from the building,” Cooper said.


 
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist 
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