A recent apartment fire in New Westminster serves as a reminder about the need to call 911, says Fire Chief Tim Armstrong.
Fire broke out in an apartment building at 845 McBride Blvd. on Saturday, Nov. 17 about 5: 30 p.m. The fire, which started in a first-floor kitchen, got into the walls and travelled up to the second and third floors, causing about $300,000 in structural damage to the apartment building.
Armstrong told The Record the vents behind stoves in older buildings were designed in a way that makes it "ideal" for fire to travel upwards and spread to other suites.
He said fire crews did a "brilliant stop" in ensuring the fire didn't spread further up the six-storey building and throughout the building.
Armstrong said the fire also serves as a reminder to residents living in older apartment buildings about their fire systems.
"Those type of buildings don't have heat detectors in the hallways," he noted. "They have smoke detectors in the individual suites."
Armstrong said other residents would only learn of a fire if they heard an audible alarm, which needs to be triggered by a pull station in the hallway.
The smoke detectors aren't connected among suites in the buildings, nor do they alert the fire department of the presence of fire.
"A lot of people don't realize that just because their alarm bells have been ringing that we haven't been notified," Armstrong said.
Residents must call 911 to ensure that New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services is aware of the fire, he said. www.twitter.com/TheresaMcManus