Firefighters prepare to get onto the roof of Lakeside Manor. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)

Fire extinguished in roof of Shuswap retirement residence

Residents moved back to Lakeside Manor in Salmon Arm from regional district building

Residents of Lakeside Manor woke up to the whine of the building’s fire alarm and the smell of smoke on Wednesday morning.

Around 7 a.m. the Salmon Arm Fire Department said it responded to reports of a fire on the roof of Lakeside Manor, a retirement residence in the 600 block on Harbour Front Drive.

It took crews approximately six minutes to arrive on scene where they found black smoke coming from a peak in the building’s roof.

A preliminary investigation found the smoke came from an external air-conditioning unit and fumes made its way into the hallways via an air intake. Residents in the area of concern were evacuated and one care aid was taken to hospital for strictly precautionary measures.

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The residents were well prepared for the emergency as a fire drill had been conducted just two weeks beforehand.

“Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen,” said Keira Shoebridge, general manager of Lakeside Manor. “We had a lot of residents say ‘I’m so happy we have those drills because I knew exactly what to do.’”

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To escape the chilly morning air, evacuated residents took refuge at their muster point in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District building. Nearby, a group of construction workers had seen the drama unfold and brought the seniors refreshments from Tim Hortons.

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Deputy fire chief Gary Lebeter commended employees of the manor for their preparedness as well.

“The staff in the manor did a really good job of getting the people where they were supposed to be,” Lebeter said.

Damage from the fire was contained to the AC unit, no structural damage was reported.

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