Surrey has had a frightful number of serious fires so far this month.
The most recent, which left two children critically injured, is considered suspicious in origin. This happened on Sunday morning, in a basement suite in Newton.
All told, firefighters have fought five blazes so far this month that have resulted in serious injuries and well over a dozen people losing their home.
Surrey Fire Chief Larry Thomas said his department is dispatched to roughly 1,000 structure fires each year and in terms of year-to-date, the city is “pretty much trending exactly” the same now as it was this time last year, though “it does seem like this last week had a bit more high profile.”
Of those 1,000, he said, usually somewhere between 220 and 300 calls are serious enough to be reported to the fire commissioner as actual structure fires. Sometimes firefighters are called to put out a smoking pot on a stove.
While it’s difficult to protect one’s self from arson, when that is indeed the case, Thomas stresses how important early detection is when it comes to structure fires in general.
Working smoke alarms that are regularly tested and not disconnected can provide residents with critically important warning to escape before it’s tragically no longer an option.
“Having that early detection is really important,” Thomas notes.
These are words to live by. Literally.
So check your smoke alarm today, or tonight.