Retirement home praised for fire response

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The Office of the State Fire Marshal praised Van Mall Retirement Community for its response to an Aug. 19 fire.

The blaze occurred around 9:45 a.m. when a paper shredder caught fire in a resident’s room. The fire alarm activated, staff closed the room and evacuated all residents from the fire area.

By the time the Vancouver Fire Department arrived on scene, the building’s sprinkler system had already put out the fire.

The resident whose room caught fire was treated for smoke inhalation and a resident across the hall was treated for chest pains. The fire caused $20,000 in damages to the building and destroyed $12,000 worth of belongings, according to the Vancouver Fire Department.

The retirement home’s staff decided to conduct fire drills as if they were the real deal after attending a class by Deputy State Fire Marshal Dan Young. Being prepared helped keep residents safe and stopped the fire and smoke from spreading, according to the state fire marshal.

Vancouver firefighters also praised the staff at the time of the fire. Firefighter-paramedic Kevin Stromberg also credited the staff for preparing residents with fire drills and having a sprinkler system.