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Fire Chief Urges Residents to Never Re-enter a Burning Building

Posted on Friday August 15, 2014

Pickering, ON, August 15, 2014 – In the wake of Wednesday’s fatal fire in Ottawa where a woman perished after she re-entered her burning home to save her dog, Pickering Fire Services reminds the public that once someone escapes from a burning building they should never re-enter for any reason.

In addition, Pickering Fire Services urges residents to ensure working smoke alarms are installed on every storey of a home, and outside all sleeping areas. “Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building,” said Chief John Hagg.  “Early detection and warning of fire is critical. Ensuring everyone is prepared with an escape plan before a fire occurs is equally as important as being equipped with working smoke alarms.”

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:

  • everyone should know two ways out of each room, if possible
  • all exits must be unobstructed and easy to use
  • if someone in your home has a disability, develop an escape plan with your household that takes into account their unique needs. Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
  • choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for
  • call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or neighbour’s home
  • practice your home fire escape plan
  • once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building

For people who live in apartment buildings and need assistance to escape:

  • make sure you tell the superintendent or landlord if you need assistance
  • make sure your name is added to the ‘persons who require assistance’ list in the fire safety plan, so the fire department knows which apartment you are in
  • know the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan

If a fire occurs and escape isn’t possible:

  • close the door of the room you are in and cover vents and cracks around the door with cloth or tape to keep smoke out
  • call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Tell them where you are, then signal for help at the window with a light-coloured cloth or a flashlight



As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:

Julie Ineson

Fire Inspector l Pickering Fire Services Department

905.420.4660 ext. 8517                                                                                                                 

1.866.683.2760 | TTY 905.420.1739