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  • NL Fire Chief Calls for Home Sprinkler Systems After Visiting Site of Halifax Tragedy

    A memorial of teddy bears for the 7 Barho children outside the side of the tragic fire. (Photo by Vince Mackenzie)

    A Newfoundland firefighter paid a poignant visit this weekend to the site of a horrific house fire in Halifax that claimed the lives of seven children.

    The fire ripped through the residential home. The parents managed to escape, but the children, ranging in age from 14 to just 3 months old were all lost.

    Grand Falls-Windsor Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie is on the Maritime Fire Chiefs Board of Directors which met over the weekend in Halifax. He says he felt compelled to pay his respects at the scene of the fire and met with Halifax Chief Ken Steubing to see how he and the rest of the fire department are holding up.

    He says these type of tragedies hit home for all firefighters. MacKenzie says he feels both sorrow for the lives lost and pride in the professionalism shown by members of the fire service.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation, but MacKenzie says it’s not unusual to see fires of that same intensity especially in recent years.

    He says they see those type of fires every day now. He says with new construction and residential plastics fires burn eight or nine times faster than they did when he first started firefighting.

    He says it reiterates the importance of early detection and smoke alarms and renews the discussion around residential sprinkler systems.

    MacKenzie suggests that the only way to subdue a fire of that intensity before it was too late would be a residential sprinkler system.

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