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Fireys dispel brigade charge rumour
The Shepparton Fire Brigade is concerned by a recent incident where a teenager avoided calling triple zero after a neighbour wrongly told him the family would receive a large bill if the fire brigade attended
Senior firefighters have since commented that they are experiencing more and more questions and comments from the community along the lines of “how much is this going to cost me”. They are concerned that this public perception will eventually lead to a serious injury or fatality.
While last weekend’s fire (which started in the kitchen after the 14 year old boy become distracted while using the deep fryer to cook an after-school snack) was successfully extinguished by a neighbour, firefighters consider the family lucky not to have lost their home.
It was the boy’s father who eventually called the brigade. He had returned home to find fire, heat and smoke damage in the kitchen and lounge rooms and was concerned about electrical problems.
After talking with the family and neighbours, firefighters discovered that the son, home alone after returning from school, started a fire while cooking dim sims in a deep fryer.
On becoming aware of the fire, the boy had raced out of the house to a neighbour two doors down and knocked on the door, at which point the neighbours came over with a fire blanket and extinguisher and put out the fire, now burning the curtain as well as the deep fryer.
Meanwhile another neighbour ‘warned them off’ calling the fire brigade because of the ‘large bill’ they would receive.
Brigade support officer Paul Verbeek says that it was very unfortunate that the young teenager’s lack of awareness had been compounded by incorrect advice from adults nearby.
“This was a simple misunderstanding, but one that could very easily have had devastating results,” he said.