Fire dept. arrives in 3 minutes to put out fire

By GEORGE A. KUNKE


By GEORGE KUNKE

The Raymond Fire Department responded to a fire at the Manor Apartments at 434 6th Street early Monday (1:21 a.m.). Upon arrival fire fighters, began fighting a fire on the first floor of an apartment’s kitchen area. Firemen put the fire out while managing to prevent it from spreading. Additional fire crews, and the Raymond and South Bend police departments evacuated 35 residents (many of them elderly or disabled) from the building because the entire three-story complex was filled with smoke. 

It took the RFD only three minutes to arrived on the scene with its units. Raymond Fire Chief Todd Strozyk told the Herald his crew did an outstanding job of preventing the fire from spreading.

“The initial crew did an outstanding job,” Strozyk said. “They quickly got all the fire lines deployed and knocked that fire down. Their quick action saved lives.

 “Fire Fighter-Paramedic Raela McVey and Firefighter-Paramedic Wayne Timmons did just an outstanding job getting that fire knocked out,” Strozyk noted. “They were really quick. It’s amazing that somebody wasn’t hurt or injured. The fire was burning in the kitchen, which is next to the front door, and the fire was starting to peak out the door.”

Police Departments Help Evacuate

“We evacuated all the residents and a lot of the credit goes to the Raymond Police Department and the South Bend Police Department for evacuating the residents. They were a huge help and they had people outside for a whole hour. Once we got the smoke cleared from the building the residents were allowed to go back in. We were lucky that the rain held off until we got back inside.

Chief Strozyk added, “Eleven fire fighters were on the scene along with an engine medic unit, a support vehicle and an accommodating rig.”

The 78-year-old woman residing in the apartment that was on fire was not injured. The American Red Cross found accommodations for her.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the fire started on top of a stove in the kitchen. Estimated damage is $50,000 to the kitchen and the smoke-filled areas. “That number could go up because of the smoke damage,” Strozyk said.