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Barrie Fire holds 14th annual Great Home Escape Night

Neighbourhood event part of Fire Prevention Week

Fire trucks with lights and sirens cruised the Timberwalk subdivision last night but they were not signalling an emergency.

Barrie Fire hosted its 14th annual Great Home Escape Night in the Essa Road neighbourhood and all 515 residents were encouraged to practice their home escape plans. 

Residents were then invited to a party at the community centre where firefighters had all kinds of fun activities, popcorn and free pizza from Domino’s.

The concept was created in 2003 by former Fire Prevention Officer Shane Edwards, who now as an Acting Captain drove a truck to kick off Wednesday's event.

"We wanted to reach as many people as possible during Fire Prevention Week," said Edwards. "It encourages people to do their home escape plan and test smoke alarms and then meet us out in the street for a big party.  It's been successful ever since."

"This is a great subdivision, Timberwalk, because there are thousands of people here," he added.  

Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 8 to 14 and this year's theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Ontario Fire Marshal Ross Nichols joined Interim Barrie Fire Chief Cory Mainprize and Deputy Fire Chiefs Sue Dawson and Jeff Weber for the event.

Nichols delivered the fire safety message for people to have working smoke alarms, an escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

"It's often the difference between life and death," said Nichols. "Fires burn up to eight times faster than they did 50 years ago. The difference is in construction materials and home furnishing materials. You may only have seconds to get out."

Andre Savoie attended the event with his baby daughter and parents.

"My parents live here and they have three exits.  At my home, we have a walk-out basement and the main entrance," he said.

"I think it pretty cool to educate the folks on proper practices."

For other Fire Prevention Week events visit Fire Prevention Week - City of Barrie.