Learning From Experience: Fire Prevention Week With Clearview Fire

Fire Chief Remembers How Everyone Worked Together To Battle Devastating Fire And Its Aftermath

A fire that displaced a few downtown Stayner residents and businesses showed a local fire chief the value of partnership.

All this Fire Prevention Week, we’re asking Fire Services around the region to reflect on the calls that gave them pause, the incidents that taught them, and today Clearview Fire Chief Collin Shewell is looking back to a downtown Stayner fire.

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April of 2015 saw a fire in a downtown store. Seven people and five apartments were affected, while Chief Shewell says the fire also shut down the entire downtown core for a time.

While there were no severe injuries reported, Shewell remembers how everyone involved worked like a well-oiled machine.

“OPP were first on scene, they were instrumental in helping getting people out, as well as our firefighters on scene. […] our crews went in and quickly extinguished the fire. We asked for help from our neighbours, Collingwood Fire, and they supplied with an aerial for any backups so that we could definitely make sure we could contain the fire and limit the damage to the downtown core in Stayner.”

He recalls that while the Fire Marshall probed what caused the fire, his Fire Service worked with the community in making sure the victims of it were okay, even over subsequent months.

“In the meantime, while the OFM was doing that, we were doing a parallel assistance program, with not only the community partners around Clearview or Stayner, but also with the Red Cross. Making sure that these folks were looked after in the interim, as well as a long term outlook, because the renovations were going to take nine months to a year.”

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He adds, no matter what the situation or where,  when other fire services come together, everyone already knows who is in charge.

“…the terminology is generally the same across Ontario, with the Incident Command Structure, so that being said, there’s only one person in charge, and if you come to our scenes, and the Deputy and I are there, and the Deputy is in charge of Operations, then he’s the one calling the shots.”

Banner photo courtesy: @ClearviewFire