© MIke Carson/Journal Pioneer
Meredith and Dave Hall and their son, Chris, are all smiles but it wasn’t that way Wednesday night. The family experienced furnace problems in their home during the height of the snowstorm. The family hopes to return to their home Thursday.
SUMMERSIDE — A family of three is safe and sound at the Loyalist Lakeview Resort after being rescued Wednesday night by Summerside firefighters from their Highland Avenue home.
Dave and Meredith Hall and their three-and-a-half year old son, Chris, were taken by fire truck to the local hotel after problems developed with the furnace in their home.
“Dave and Chris were outside on the back deck and I was making dinner,” Meredith said from the family’s room at the Loyalist. “I could start to smell something but I really didn’t think of it as anything. I started to smell smoke. It smelt like exhaust.”
She called her husband and son into the house.
“I called them into the house because the smell persisted. At this point I didn’t think I was just smelling things, she said. “It had go on for about 20 minutes”
David walked through the house and said he could smell something too. He went down to the furnace room while his wife called 911.
"They dispatched us to city police who told us to leave,” she said. “I had on my snow pants and Chris and Dave had on their snow pants so we got out and got to the neighbour’s house where she let us in and gave is a towel to clean ourselves up.”
“It’s devastating weather,” Meredith said. “It was terrifying. I was crying. I was an emotional wreck by the time we got here last night. Just to walk from our next-door neighbour’s house to get in for safety our faces were covered in snow. I’m glad they were outside. I was fairly sick last night.”
With his family safe in the neighbour’s home, David Hall went back to his house.
“I went back over to our place once they were safe and cleared off the air intake to the furnace and there’s an exhaust one as well,” he said. “I cleaned those off and went back in to see if that made any difference and it was after that that the fire department showed up.”
Firefighters worked to get the furnace running but were unsuccessful
“It was terrifying. I was crying. I was an emotional wreck by the time we got here last night. Just to walk from our next-door neighbour’s house to get in for safety our faces were covered in snow." Meredith Hall
“They came downstairs and tried to get it going again,” Hall said. “They figured that it was the blockage of the exhaust – that it couldn’t get any air to breathe. We fixed that problem but for whatever reason the furnace wasn’t turning back on. They asked us if we had any other source of heat for the night and once we said no they said you guys are going to have to leave.”
Firefighters helped the family prepare to leave their home.
“They helped us pack all of our stuff and got us into the fire truck,” Meredith said. “They were very concerned that they didn’t have a teddy bear to give to Chris because he was very nervous. He didn’t know what was going on and he was being ripped from his house. They got us in the fire truck and took us here. They helped us get through all of the snow and made sure we got here safe and were okay to stay here.”
The Loyalist Lakeview Resort responded to the family in need.
“The whole staff here has been great,” Meredith said. “They opened up the Empire Room just for Chris to play in. They’ve been making sure that we’ve gotten food. Everyone’s just been really helpful. We’re really lucky. Very lucky we were awake when this happened and that it didn’t end in a worse situation.”
The Halls will never forget the efforts and concern Summerside firefighters showed their family during one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory.
“Those firemen…what amazed me was, and I’ve never seen anybody do this, when we got here, Dave went in with some of our stuff and a fireman went in with some of our stuff and another fireman I handed Chris over to him and instantly he sheltered him and started protecting him from the storm,” Meredith said. “You can tell that they care. They are well-trained people.”