Canada Survivors of 'horrific' apartment fire meet firefighters who rescued them

04:06  07 december  2017
04:06  07 december  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

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When Washington talks to firefighters who have been involved in serious incidents, he gives them his personal mobile phone number with a plea to call him anytime, day or night. Fenstermaker served as the initial incident commander, supervising the frantic effort to rescue survivors .

Survivors of 'horrific' apartment fire meet firefighters who rescued them© Lyzaville Sale/CBC Survivors of 'horrific' apartment fire meet firefighters who rescued them

In a smoke-filled bedroom in a burning building, Dwight McIvor and his family said goodbye to each other Monday night.

"For a few moments, I kind of felt horrible — kind of felt bad. But then at that moment there, we had a prayer and we said our goodbyes, said we love you," the 20-year-old said Wednesday.

"We had a horrible moment there that we felt like we weren't going to make it … It was very, very intense to go through something like that."

He and his younger brother, Lester, his cousin, Dylan and his mother, Nancy, were four of six people rescued by firefighters from the third floor of their apartment building at 489 Furby St., after a fire broke out on the second storey. Six other people escaped on their own, and the building next door was evacuated because of the heavy smoke and water used in firefighting efforts.

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ONE of the first firefighters to arrive at the horrific Grenfell tower blaze has described what he saw that night as "hell" and "like a war zone". The firefighter , who was the first to enter flat 16, had to Survivors and supporters marched through London on the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire .

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The effort involved nearly 60 crew members on rotation and lasted into the following morning. The McIvor family lost everything except what they were wearing and have been staying in a relative's one-bedroom apartment down the street.

On Wednesday, they got to meet some of the firefighters who rescued them, and were handed a cheque for $500 to help them rebuild.

"I'm happy to see them all together as a family. No one got hurt and that's the bottom line," said Lt. Scott Lucas, one of four firefighters who broke down the door and found the family.

"It's hard, and especially this time of year, to see a family lose most of everything they have including their shoes. But family is everything, and lives saved is worth it enough."

'It was horrific'

Dwight McIvor was in his bedroom playing video games Monday night when he heard the building's fire alarm go off and thought nothing of it. The alarm went off frequently in the building for no reason, he said.

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Image copyright Pewsey Fire Station. Image caption Firefighters celebrated their reward by putting the sausages on a barbecue. A litter of piglets whose bacon was saved from a barn fire has been served up as dinner to the firefighters who rescued them .

"Right away, at the moment, I dismissed the idea of a fire because it happens all the time,so I just continued on playing [the] game," he said.

"But I made sure to listen out. I heard my younger brother open the front door and I was listening for him … A minute later, I heard him running up the stairs, I heard him say, 'a real fire.'"

He went to the living room to see what was going on without turning off his game. Through the headset he left sitting in his bedroom, he said the friends he was playing with could hear parts of the commotion.

Both the front and back doors were blocked by smoke so thick they couldn't see, so the family made its way to Dwight's bedroom, where the smoke was lighter.

They huddled there for more than half an hour before Lucas and his team broke down the door and escorted them out.

"We were at the verge of saying goodbye to one another and saying our goodbyes, and to be saved like that and to hear somebody breaking the doors and opening that door, says, 'I got four here!' — I knew we were going to get saved," Nancy McIvor said.

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She added: "There were people who were just surviving and waiting for the fire to take them , just waiting to die." A distraught mum lost her 12-year-old daughter after accidentally letting go of her hand as they tried to escape down the pitch black stairwell. Firefighters rescued 65 people from the block

Lucas said it was a relief for him, too.

"It's a relief to know you got everyone off that floor. That's what you're tasked to do, that's what you want to make sure happens," he said. "You don't want to leave anyone behind. The guys did a crackerjack job."

Dwight McIvor said the meeting was "amazing."

"We relived that night ... ever since it happened. [From] the moment we were leaving to the moment we were in the hospital to even today, right now. We keep reliving that moment of almost dying, because it's a very traumatic experience. It was horrific. It was very scary, and I'm glad we made it out alive," he said.

"That was the most relieving feeling I have ever felt was seeing that firefighter come through my bedroom door, and seeing someone come save us where we felt like there was nothing we could've done."

One person rescued from Detroit River near Boblo Island .
The Amherstburg Fire Department is reporting that one person was rescued from the freezing waters of the Detroit River off Boblo Island mid-day Thursday. © Nick Brancaccio, Windsor Star An Amherstburg Fire Department vehicle. Emergency responders were called around noon to a location on Boblo Island where an individual had been found in the water.The victim was conscious the entire time. The Amherstburg Fire Department said the person was first taken to a nearby restaurant to recover, then taken to hospital.

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