Neighbours question emergency response time after fire kills girl

Neighbours question emergency response time after fire kills girl

Emergency crews’ response time to the recent fire west of Red Deer that killed seven-year-old Charlotte Arlidge is being questioned by at least two people.

The girl’s mother and two younger brothers suffered burns in the early morning mobile home fire on Burnt Lake Trail, in Red Deer County, last Friday.

Neighbour Darrell Comis, at Les’s Trailer Park, was up around 1 a.m. Friday when the trailer where the Arlidge family lived was on fire.

From Comis’ memory, the emergency crews arrived about 15 to 20 minutes later.

Comis believes that in emergencies, municipal boundaries shouldn’t matter, because lives are at stake.

“We’re not even five minutes straight down 67th Street from us. There’s a fire department there,” he said, referring to the City of Red Deer facility.

“They could’ve been here in five minutes, 10 minutes tops, and 10 minutes makes a big difference in a fire,” the neighbour said.

“The way I look at it, it doesn’t matter what county, what district you’re in, if you’re close enough, and when lives are on the line, you get there.”

David Brand, director of community and protective services for the County of Red Deer, said its emergency department was notified of the fire around 1:10 a.m. and county crews responded within 13 minutes with a full complement of crews and apparatus.

Responding to the same call, the City of Red Deer sent out an ambulance — the first unit to arrive on scene — from the city’s Fire Station No. 2, on 67th Street.

City of Red Deer fire Chief Ken McMullen said that first unit arrived on scene about six minutes after the 1:10 a.m. call came in.

Brand said Red Deer County’s first unit arrived a couple of minutes after that first ambulance.

Brand said each municipality is responsible for fires within its jurisdiction.

Depending on the severity and the need, other fire departments can be called upon for additional support.

In this instance, both City of Red Deer and Blackfalds fire departments were asked to help out.

“We requested, as we were en route, support from our mutual aid partners,” Brand said.

McMullen said the county requested a water truck with two crew members for the incident.

McMullen said had a fire truck been requested from the city, as part of mutual aid, it would’ve arrived on scene around the same time as the first ambulance, as they were parked at the same station on 67th Street.

Brand said so far, the investigation shows the fire was severe even before the crews arrived.

“We have information as part of the investigation, from residents in the park, that shows the trailer was fully engulfed before any units arrived on scene …” said Brand.

He said the Red Deer County Burnt Lake fire station — Station 23 — is near Les’s Trailer Park.

But all three fire stations in the county’s Red Deer district responded to the call. A Google search shows Station 23 is about five minutes from the Les’s Trailer Park.

Lance Kenney, another neighbour, said he believes the firefighters from the City of Red Deer’s fire department on 67th Street would’ve been able to provide a faster response, given the close proximity.

“They might not have been able to save any more lives, or to save this trailer,” he said, referring to the home where the little girl lived.

“But they definitely could have done more for Mario’s (home),” he said in reference to Mario Roy’s trailer, which was next to Arlidge’s and was also gutted by fire.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer city council approved a $39.6 million police budget for 2021, up for inflationary reasons from $37.9 million in 2020. (Black Press file photo).
Red Deer city council retains police funding, while also launching a crisis team

De-funding police is not a conversation in this municipality

Alberta reported an additional 1,854 cases of COVID-19 Thursday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories)
Red Deer has 289 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

The Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Red Deer has new owners. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Cambridge Hotel in Red Deer has new ownership group

‘They’re making an investment in this iconic hotel for the future,’ says general manager Gil Vallee

The new Gasoline Alley Farmers Market officially opened on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Gasoline Alley brewery a collaboration between brewers and farmers

Red Deer County’s newest brewery has been built from the ground up… Continue reading

RDA court
Updated: Judge to deliver verdict in Mountie sexual assault trial on Friday

Female officer alleges she was assaulted by another Mountie at a house party in 2012

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Patrick Guimond, owner of One Eleven Grill, has made a desperate plea to the premier to help restaurants who are struggling with the new COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
700 reservations cancelled: Red Deer business owner makes impassioned plea to Premier

Patrick Guimond had simply reached a tipping point. The owner of One… Continue reading

The Canada Revenue Agency building is seen in Ottawa, Monday April 6, 2020. Opposition MPs pressed officials Thursday to say how pared they are to begin collecting GST on sales by foreign companies such as Netflix, AirbnB and Amazon starting next year, as proposed by the Liberal government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs probe officials on ability to collect GST from Netflix, other foreign companies

MPs probe officials on ability to collect GST from Netflix, other foreign companies

An Airbnb logo is shown during an event in San Francisco on Feb. 22, 2018. Airbnb says it has a plan to curb New Year’s Eve parties this year in the wake of COVID-19, after a short-term rental was the site of a 60-person party in Mississauga last weekend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Risberg.
Airbnb rolls out restrictions in Canada to prevent New Year’s Eve parties

Airbnb rolls out restrictions in Canada to prevent New Year’s Eve parties

Bay Street in Canada's financial district is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite again creeps higher as investors digest solid November gains

S&P/TSX composite again creeps higher as investors digest solid November gains

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 5, 2017. Husky Energy will receive $41.5 million in federal money to maintain jobs and move toward restarting its West White Rose offshore oil project in Newfoundland and Labrador, if conditions permit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky Energy to get $41.5 million in federal cash for stalled N.L. offshore project

Husky Energy to get $41.5 million in federal cash for stalled N.L. offshore project

Rode
Red Deer Central Lions looking to return to the ice shortly

Under normal circumstances the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club would… Continue reading

Defence lawyer Boris Bytensky, clockwise from top left, father of the accused Vahe Minassian, Justice Anne Malloy, and defendant Alek Minassian are shown during a murder trial conducted via Zoom videoconference, in this courtroom sketch on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. The key witness for the defence in Toronto’s van attack trial is set to testify for the fourth straight day today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Key witness for defence to testify for fourth day in van attack trial

TORONTO — The key witness for the defence in Toronto’s van attack… Continue reading

People take part in a protest called ‘Justice for Joyce’ in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, where they demanded justice for Joyce Echaquan and an end to systemic racism. Two months after Echaquan’s death at a Joliette hospital, the head of the regional health authority that runs the hospital, Daniel Castonguay, has been removed from his post. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Head of regional health authority where Indigenous woman died removed from post

MONTREAL — Two months after the death of Joyce Echaquan in a… Continue reading

Most Read