With all the power outages across the province in recent days, people have a lot on their minds, and safety might not be at the top of the list.
For deputy chief Bill Griffin of the Corner Brook Fire Department, that is particularly worrisome.
Candles lit during a power outage caused this home on Veterans’ Square in Corner Brook to go up in flames early Sunday morning. — Photo by The Western Star
“If you didn’t have enough to worry about or to be concerned with while this is going on, we still can’t forget the safety aspect of it,” Griffin said.
The Corner Brook Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has concluded its investigation into a house fire at 28 Veterans’ Square early Sunday morning. The cause was determined to be accidental, with candles lit during a power outage contributing to the blaze.
“We suggest people stay away from candles and have flashlights or any kind of battery-operated light,” Griffin said. “Candles are tall, not very stable and it doesn’t take much to knock them over.”
The deputy chief also said candles are dangerous around family pets and near flammable items.
Because the home was unoccupied at the time, nobody was injured in Saturday’s fire, but a family is displaced and their pet cat died in the blaze. The house was extensively damaged, as flames engulfed the roof before being extinguished on an extremely cold night.
Griffin said with stories of people using barbecues and other household appliances for heat, he shudders at the possibilities.
Compounding the fire hazard is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, he said. He added plugged-in appliances and electronics pose a threat because of the surge that accompanies the return of power.
Griffin said it’s important for people to maintain a sense of safety when dealing with power outages, and people should be prepared with flashlights and extra batteries on hand.
The Western Star