Pete Bartsoff lives near this apartment building on 7th Avenue that was destroyed by fire a few weeks ago. Photo: Betsy Kline

Pete Bartsoff lives near this apartment building on 7th Avenue that was destroyed by fire a few weeks ago. Photo: Betsy Kline

LETTER: Thanks to the Castlegar Fire Department for saving my house

Reader Pete Bartsoff impressed with CFD’s skills and ladder truck

To the Castlegar Fire Department,

With respect to a recent fire involving a four-plex apartment on the 1100 block of 7th Street I would like to express my view as an immediate neighbour to the incident. We were awoken shortly after midnight with the presence of both RCMP and the arriving Castlegar Fire Department. We were informed of possible evacuation.

For the few panicking moments it took me to get dressed to making my way out of my house I realized that the fire department was already fully set up, functioning, and attacking the blazing next door building. Smoke, flames, and sparks filled the area. Some of the local residents did not have time to get fully dressed and were standing outside barefooted in their night clothes.

From the close proximity of my residence to the burning building you can imagine my concern for loss as well. Only moments passed until the fire department activated the ladder truck with its huge nozzle. In a few seconds it knocked the fire down, wet the whole area including surrounding trees, and anything that appeared to be in danger of having the fire spread. In my opinion, the ladder truck was an impressive property saving piece of equipment used to put a fire scene into control very quickly.

I nervously paced my property until the fire was totally extinguished.

It was not an easy fire and I can say this: The Castlegar Fire Department was remarkable! They worked in efficient teams, obviously well trained. Everyone had a responsibility and they carried out their assignments flawlessly. It was evident there was no fumbling, no guesswork — just well-trained operational team work.

At day break I managed to get a moment to talk to a few of the firefighters — they were wet, soaked, cold and shivering and still fighting flare-ups. I am confident they saved my property that night.

Thank you to the city for acquiring such fantastic pieces of firefighting equipment — especially the ladder truck. Thank you to all the personnel who go through hours of equipment and team training to be so effective in emergencies and so professional and compassionate with those suffering the uncertainty of great personal loss. The City of Castlegar, as a whole, should be most proud and grateful to the fire department and their equipment — I know I am. Thank you.

Pete and Audrey Bartsoff

Castlegar B.C.


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