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Smoke Alarm saves residential complex in Fairview from major fire damage

Nelson Fire Rescue said a malfunctioning electric baseboard was producing enough heat to scorch the wall. — Nelson Fire Rescue photo

A good working smoke alarm saved a residence from major fire damage late Tuesday said Nelson Fire Rescue in a media release.

The call came in at 7:37 p.m. to Nelson Fire of an activated smoke alarm inside a one story, multi-unit, residential complex in the 800 block of Nelson Avenue.

The shift officers found a locked and vacant one bedroom apartment with no smoke showing from the outside, Nelson Fire Rescue said.

"Upon gaining entry with the key holder, a malfunctioning electric baseboard was producing enough heat to scorch the wall, the ceiling, and partially melt a vinyl venetian blind," the release said.

"The resulting light smoke activated the smoke alarm, alerting other residents in adjacent suites. The problem was eliminated by turning off the breaker, removing the heater, and overhauling the wall behind the heater to ensure no fire had extended into the wall cavity."

Nelson Fire Rescue said this near miss, involving the successful activation of a smoke alarm, stresses the importance of having working smoke alarms.

"When you hear an activated smoke alarm at a neighbour’s residence please check on their safety and the cause," the release said.

"In this case, the caller made the right decision to call the fire department for assistance investigating an alarm coming from a locked and vacant suite.

"A successful outcome tonight - due to a working smoke alarm, and a call to the fire department."