First and foremost, I would like to take this moment to thank Innisfil’s Finest Innisfil Professional Firefighters Association Local 3804 And each and every member of The INNISFIL FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES for their bravery.
While they (the firefighters) have said there is a “career fire” that will be the one to be remembered, I too, will call this a photography event that will never be forgotten.
On Tuesday, February 13th, at 7:00pm, as my husband and our son were leaving for swimming, we smelled fire in our home. We did not see smoke until we were outside our home. It was a thick white wall of smoke that was sweeping through our street. Brad and Mason left, and I decided to stay behind and called 911 at 7:01pm. The first engine arrived at the scene within 4 minutes. Shortly after followed by a second. We had no idea just how intense this night would become.
The fire engulfed a block of 5 units just 2 doors down from our block. It grew fast and furious. I was alone along with one other couple that live on our (new) street. It was an eerie feeling to not have our neighbourhood band together, as most of our street is in various stages of being built and for the most part unoccupied, as well as there are only seasonal residents that live here part-time. It felt so isolated to feel stranded with only myself, the other couple and a contractor (who also on scene and called 911, thank you!). We just stood in disbelief. Our security offered to shuttle us to safety, but I just could not leave this sight. We were told that an evacuation of our street was a possibility as the embers were flying all over our neighbourhood.
The majority of the battle was for over 3 hours. Flames were large, and the Aerial Truck was brought in to attack the flames from above. These First Responders had a fight, and they won. With nearly 7 engines (from what I’ve been told) were here to tame and control this fire.
The sounds of broken glass, of chainsaws cutting to get into the building, the sight of firefighters running out of the building, so have their oxygen tanks exchanged and run right back in, the aerial unit covered in thick smoke was a powerful moment to see.
We received a knock on our door by the head of security sometime after 10:30pm or so, to let us know that the fire was down to a smoulder, and that we were safe.
I would like to thank you all who sent us messages last night to make sure we were ok. This was a little close for comfort. I was happy to have the distraction of my camera to keep my emotions in check, but most importantly, to show just how incredible this Fire Team was.
I had the most glorious opportunity to meet many of the Firefighters this morning and shook each of their hands in gratitude. Most of the First Responders from last night were no longer on site, however, we wish to give our most heartfelt THANK YOU for what you did. Words cannot articulate such bravery.
We will rebuild. We will persevere. We will thrive.
The Walton Family