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Staff’s quick response halts spread of nursing home fire

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

The immediate and decisive actions of the employees kept the fire from spreading and helped protect the lives of the occupants.

–George DeSheilds, Fire Chief  

Manchester Fire and Rescue honors the Horizon Health and Rehab employees that extin-guished a small electrical fire at the nursing home last week. Pictured are, from left, Fire Chief George DeSheilds, Horizon’s Kim DiNovo, Manchester Alderman Roxanne Patton, Horizon’s Nikki Neel, and Assistant Fire Chief Mark Reed. Not pictured but also honored were Charlene Nunley Brandley Sewell, Tabitha London Vicky Pitts and Vickey Johnson. (Staff photo by John Coffelt)

The staff at Horizon Health and Rehab quickly extinguished an early-morning equipment fire June 10 at the nursing home on Keylon St., preventing a small electrical fire from getting out of hand.

“One of our call light modules overheated and caught fire,” said Horizon administrator Michael Ward.

“[The responding staff] actually put the fire out before that fire department came.”

Ward said that Horizon staff are trained to follow the state mandated Life Safety Protocol for health facilities.

He added that cooperatively Horizon additionally works with local fire departments to make sure the procedures are being performed properly.

“[The staff] followed that procedure to a tee,” he said.

He explained that in the protocol, appropriate first response by the staff is key. In a fire, especially one at a medical facility, smoke is a bigger danger than the fire itself.

“They extinguished the fire and evacuated the immediate area as the first response.

“That’s key,” Ward said.

Manchester Fire and Rescue Department honored the responding Horizon staff during a small ceremony held yearly last Monday morning.

“They quickly moved the occupant of the room, alerted other employees and extinguished the small fire with a hand held extinguisher,” MFD Chief George DeSheilds said.

“Simultaneously, other employees evacuated the rest of the occupants of the facility and met firefighters at the door.”

DeShields said the employees calmly “gave firefighters information on the fire location and condition of all occupants.”

DeSheilds commended the employees, “The immediate and decisive actions of the employees kept the fire from spreading and helped protect the lives of the occupants.”

Horizon is in contact with the company that supplied the call light to resolve any further issues.