Dear Firefighter Close Calls,
Our department responded to smoke in a residential structure. Upon the first unit arriving, they found nothing visible. They pulled a dry line and went in with a TIC and during that, the 70 year old owner was trying to get her 90 year old mother out of house that had an electrical smell with light smoke.The mother was assisted to a car outside and the owner told us that she had come home from vacation, unloaded the car and realized she needed some stuff from the grocery store. When she came back she noticed the smoke and called us. The person using the TIC noticed a little higher than normal temperature coming from a transformer in the ceiling of the garage. A firefighter went up with a step ladder and it appeared to him to have the same odor as in the house. It was unplugged and the temperature went down to normal. The house was ventilated and appeared that the call was done. A firefighter leaving to go back to his unit smelled more of the burning in the corner of the garage on his way out. It turns out that the owner in her haste to get an outside light on, plugged in the wrong cord. She plugged in a electric grill with charcoals inside a plastic bag. Had our SOP been followed of turning on the TIC before coming up to the structure and scanning, this situation could have been avoided. Those on the scene felt lucky that we didn’t come back a few hours later to the death of two elderly ladies. A close call indeed!