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Fire safety being urged

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With Borderland in a deep freeze for about a week now, residents are doing what they can to stay warm and deal with cold-weather problems such as frozen pipes.

But after responding to two fires since Saturday, the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to keep fire safety in mind.

“We had a fully-involved trailer fire at Lakeview Trailer Court on Sunday,” Wayne Riches, the captain of fire prevention and education, told the Times yesterday.

By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had vented through the gable ends and the living room window, he noted, adding the damage was so extensive that the residence was a “write-off.”

Fortunately, the occupant was able to make it out safely with minor injuries, Capt. Riches said.

Capt. Riches said the owner had been trying to thaw out frozen waters lines using heaters and a fire started accidentally.

“If you've got frozen lines, take extra care if you're trying to thaw them out with heaters and portable devices and whatnot,” he cautioned.

“Make sure you keep an eye on them," Capt. Riches added. ”Or call a professional in.

“It seems it's that time of year.”

Meanwhile, firefighters responded to a chimney fire at a residence on the 300 block of Third Street East on Saturday.

Fortunately, it was contained to the stove and chimney.

Capt. Riches said anyone with fireplaces or wood stoves should make sure their chimneys are clean and free of built-up creosote.

“If they notice anything that's maybe not right, contact the fire department or call 9-1-1,” he urged.

In related news, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Kelly Calder, who was the victim of Sunday's trailer fire.

Calder suffered only minor injuries but lost his mobile home and all of his belongings to the flames.

As of yesterday morning, nearly $2,000 had been raised to help him recoup his losses. The funds are to help purchase needed household items, furniture, and clothing.

A statement from his family on GoFundMe noted Calder “is still in good spirits but has had a string of bad luck after having just returned from a week-long hospital stay in Winnipeg due to ongoing health issues.”

“Please help us get our dad back on his feet during this difficult time by either donating what you can (anything helps) or sharing with your friends,” it added.

“Any donations are very much appreciated.”

To view the GoFundMe, visit gf.me/v/c/gfm/helping-kelly-start-over-home-lost-in-fire

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