Unresponsive man rescued from basement fire in Hunter River

New Glasgow chief credits training for firefighters’ preparedness for life-or-death situation

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 6, 2016
New Glasgow P.E.I. Fire Department logo.
Photo courtesy of NGFD

HUNTER RIVER – Firefighter training and quick thinking likely saved a man’s life here last night.

New Glasgow fire chief Jason Peters also credited a working smoke detector for alerting a family of six to a small blaze in their basement last night.

He said the fire department received a call at 11 p.m. regarding a structure fire with an individual possibly trapped inside.

Upon arriving at the home, which is on Route 2 in Hunter River, firefighters found a mother, four children and family dog outside of the house.

Firefighters were then told the father was still in the basement.

“When our firefighters surrounded him he was unresponsive and on the floor of the basement,” said Peters. “The firefighters pulled him out of the house. He started coming around when we got him outside.”

Once outside, the man was given oxygen and transported to hospital by Island EMS.

Queens County RCMP also assisted with the call.

Robert Arsenault, deputy provincial fire marshall, told The Guardian Sunday the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

While Peters described the fire as small, the smoke could have led to a devastating outcome.

“If we hadn’t have gotten there within another five minutes or so, it would have changed the story,” said Peters.

Peters said the couple became aware of the fire when a smoke detector went off on Saturday night.

The couple went out of their bedroom and noticed smoke coming from the basement.

“The mother and kids went outside,” said Peters “The father went to the basement to see what was going on.”

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined by the provincial fire marshal’s office.

Peters gave credit to his department members and their training for both saving the man and the structure.

“The training our firefighters do certainly paid off in our favour last night,” said Peters. “We were able to pull the victim out and contain the fire to minimum damage... I’m certainly proud of our fire department and the members who responded.”