A P.E.I. man is reminding people of the importance of fire extinguishers and alarms and the danger of batteries after a fire at his home.
Eric Patrick Kelly was in the cellar of his house in Pisquid, P.E.I., when he heard the fire alarm go off last Monday night.
He said he heard a “large pop” and rushed up to the kitchen.
“Grabbed the fire extinguisher,” he said. “I knew it was a big fire. I could hear it going.”
He said he went to the front of the stairs leading to his attic.
“That’s as far as I could get. I could see the fire. It was quite large, large enough to pop the light bulb.”
Kelly said he blasted the fire with the extinguisher, shut the door to the attic and called 911.
“The fire extinguisher and lack of oxygen by shutting that door pretty well eliminated a large fire,” he said. “That attic was a third engulfed. All 80-year-old timber up there.”
A spokesperson for the provincial government said the fire marshal determined the cause was improperly disposed batteries.
“Two nine-volt batteries from a metal detector started the fire that was in a plastic five-gallon bucket in the attic,” Kelly said, adding the provincial fire marshal showed him the batteries.
“Get rid of them and do it safely.”
‘Buy yourself a fire extinguisher’
Kelly is now mostly dealing with water damage. At the moment he isn’t able to live at home and is staying with friends.
“It’ll be a six- to eight-month refit,” he said.
The East River Fire Service responded to the call, according to a provincial official. Kelly said police and paramedics were also on scene.
Kelly said he wasn’t injured and didn’t inhale too much smoke.
After the incident, Kelly said the best thing people can do is to always be prepared for a fire.
“Having that fire extinguisher, knowing where it was, having the right number of fire alarms,” Kelly said, adding he has six fire alarms in his home, originally built in the 1930s.
“Go buy yourself a fire extinguisher. The fire alarm is going to wake you up, but are you sure you are going to be able to get out of that house? You may need a fire extinguisher to get out.”
Kelly said having working fire alarms also made the difference. He said he was lucky his dog was outside in his truck at the time.
“If Princess was with me, she’s a border collie, she definitely would have slowed me down,” he said.