Kensington police Const. Joseph Arsenault
KENSINGTON — A Kensington police officer is being credited with saving the life of a town resident from a smoke-filled apartment.
Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland said Const. Joseph Arsenault managed to make his way through thick smoke, locate a man who had passed out in a chair and bring him to safety.
“Another two or three minutes and the guy never would have made it,” Sutherland said. “He couldn’t have. I couldn’t see Joe and Joe couldn’t see, the smoke was that thick.
"Joe saved the guy’s life.”
Sutherland said Arsenault arrived at the apartment on Woodleigh Drive in Kensington first, followed by the chief and Fire Chief Alan Sudsbury. They opened the door to a wall of smoke.
“Not knowing if there was anybody in there, (Arsenault) went in and he found a guy that was passed out in a chair near the dining room," Sutherland said. "He couldn’t get him awake.”
Island EMS was at the scene and treated the man and Arsenault.
Sutherland said everything did work out well in the end but it was close.
“It was pretty quick,” the police chief said. “I don’t think he realized what he had done until after it was over. Anybody just could have said, 'We don’t know if there’s anybody in there, are we going to risk our own lives to go in?' But he went in.”
Sutherland said the smoke was caused by a pot burning on the stove.
“The guy had fallen asleep while cooking a pot of potatoes and they burned dry and caught fire,” he said. “The smoke had gotten into the apartment downstairs and that’s why (neighbours) called in the possible fire. We were lucky to find him.”