The Minaki Fire Department responded to a significant fire in a cottage garage on the west side of Pistol Lake on the evening of August 14. The fire had an electrical origin. The Department volunteers limited the fire to the garage, keeping it from spreading into the bush or onto other structures and properties.
We want to take the opportunity of this scary occurrence to recognize and thank the Department volunteers, and to remind people how fire protection works in Minaki.
We start with a thank you to Mike Turcotte, the Department Chief, who devotes a tremendous amount of time to the running of the Department and leads the fight on-site against a fire. We thank also Deputy Chief Curtis Batiuk, Training Officer Auston Taylor, and Fire Fighters Doug Johnson, Wayne Bruce, Gord Smithson, Robert Creedon, Ben Barber, Jeff Kakepetum, and Dawn Flood. No one, including the Chief, receives any compensation for his or her services.
Everyone should realize and should remember that when a call comes in, the volunteers might be at work, might be in bed, or might be out fishing (as Mike was on Thursday night). It’s a major and potentially dangerous interruption and dislocation. And time spent training, doing maintenance, and retrieving and resetting equipment after a fire is all in addition to the time that we might see or hear about them in action. People should know also that the Department is not required to respond to calls involving water access — the Minaki Department has a tradition of responding anyway because Department volunteers have long thought that it is the right thing to do.
The Minaki Department receives funding for its training, equipment, and maintenance expenses partly from the Province, partly from a portion of Local Services Board taxes, and partly from donations from the Minaki Foundation and from the 14-years’-running Pistol Lake pig roast. If you have an opportunity to support the Foundation or the pig roast, please remember that the Fire Department is a beneficiary.
A final reminder. The right phone number in case of a fire emergency is fire dispatch in Kenora: 224 1100. That dispatch automatically pages all the volunteers in Minaki. [Not quite final — while we’re at it, the medical emergency phone number, including for air ambulance service, is 468 4598.]
We are in Minaki because it’s a bit more remote, but that remoteness has consequences for services like fire protection. We hope everyone appreciates the excellent fire protection that we do have, from the Minaki volunteers. If you’d like to know how to support the Department, or would like more information, please contact us and we will refer you.