Editorial: Sixplex fire stark reminder on Fire Prevention Week

We all have to help our firefighters out.

The irony that our front page story on Wednesday was about a fire that left a number of families homeless, while inside was our special section for Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13) is not lost on us.

Every year in mid-October when the awareness week comes around we commit pages to celebrate our hardworking Cowichan Valley firefighters and departments. This year photographer Malcolm Chalmers travelled the Valley in the weeks before, photographing our fire departments and their chiefs. What’s really remarkable about these folks is that in the Cowichan Valley, they are all volunteers.

Without them giving of their time and seemingly boundless energy there would be far more catastrophic blazes than there are. Think what would have happened this summer when a wildfire broke out terrifyingly near the village of Crofton, and our firefighters spent days making sure it didn’t eat any houses in its fury.

Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t anything they can do but try to contain the damage as much as possible, which seems to have been the case last Friday in the early morning hours when the sixplex in Duncan was struck by flames. The did their best, as they always do, but they can’t perform miracles.

And we all have to help them out.

After all, the very best fire is the one that doesn’t have a chance to start (unless you’re roasting marshmallows, but that’s a whole other kind of fire). Which is what fire prevention week is all about. As terrible as it is for the families who have lost everything, the Duncan fire can serve as a wake-up call for our entire community to make sure we all check our smoke alarms. Get the chimney inspected and if need be, cleaned out before lighting a fire as the days cool. If you’ve been ignoring the frayed cords on an appliance, it’s time to deal with those. Are you always careful that your atmospheric candles are lit away from the drapes and other flammables?

And do you have a plan to get out if the worst happens? Take a few minutes now so our firefighters can have a good sleep for another night.

Just Posted

Andrea Rondeau column: Cannabis legalization requires some common sense

I’ve never smoked anything, and have no intention to start with marijuana.

Sarah Simpson column: Got it, got it, need it, got it…

Duncan youth seeking hockey card trading partners

T.W. Paterson column: Finding B.C.’s most beautiful park was easier than protecting it

Over the years I’ve seen acts of destruction that required hard effort, sometimes even ingenuity.

Cannabis shops still in limbo in Cowichan Valley

Future uncertain as marijuana becomes legal

DCS Chargers play to sixth at B.C. Christian soccer tourney

Coaches proud of team’s performance in Langley

Coming up in Cowichan: Pair of Mill Bay Marine Rescue Society fundraisers

Fall Fishing Derby will benefit Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue Mill… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time

Chain of Love and Lake to Lake Walk

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Most Read