Posts Tagged ‘fire safety’


The “Gallows” fire prevention sign in Manning Park, British Columbia. 1947 From Vancouver archives. A prop cigarette shown being hung in attempt to prevent forest fires.

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“Beaver Creek Camp Inmates Team With Local Firefighters,” Federal Corrections. Volume 2 – No. 10 – August-September, 1962. p. 7.

Inmates of the Beaver Creek Correctional Camp recently joined forces with the Gravenhurst Fire Department in quelling an imaginary blaze as part of a combined practice exercise.

Commenting on the exercise, Camp Superintendent D. J. Halfhide said it was most successful, and demonstrated that the combined fire-fighting services could cope with a major fire if one should occur.

“The exercise showed that in less than seven minutes we can have maximum attack methods in operation,” he said. “Our men can have equipment concentrat,ed on a blaze in about two minutes, and the Gravenhurst fire department can be on the scene to join them about five minutes later.”

The designated Beaver Creek crew consisted of four inmates plus a stand-by group, and in two minutes and 40 seconds this crew had water playing on a building which had been designated as being “on fire” when the siren was sounded. This included mustering the crew, laying two lines of hose, and starting the fire pump.

Seven minutes after the alarm was sounded, the Gravenhurst Fire Department arrived. They hooked up the fire truck, started the booster pump, and were pumping water at 200 pounds pressure in a further four minutes.

Superintendent Halfhide said the men from Beaver Creek, with local assistance, are becoming proficient in fighting fires of two varieties. Fire Chief Roy Mathias of Gravenhurst is helping to instruct them in methods of fighting building fires; while George Elliott, chief ranger at High Falls Lands and Forests office, has worked with them in forest firefighting techniques. The crew has helped to put out bush fires throughout the Muskoka region.

Camp inmates hold weekly practices under the direction of the camp’s works officer, Ken Knister, using water lines from a storage reservoir on the camp grounds.

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“Fire fighting at Mountain Prison,” Discussion, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1974. 

Taking a fire prevention course at Mountain Prison B.C. is
restricted — arsonists don’t get a chance. That’s what C. M. Foster, supervisor of training, half jokingly pronounced when
describing the new program started last year. Staff and inmates
were invited to take part, 14 inmates volunteered. 

Fires were set and put out, all part of the course, and Ron
Tupper, works officer coordinated the event. “Inmates who
clean the dormitories and huts benefited from the training.
They’re inside most of the time and would be the first to take
action on a fire. 

"Although the buildings are metal, with painted wood
partitioning inside, it wouldn’t take long to gut a building,”
Tupper pointed out. 

Mountain Prison was opened in 1962 to house Sons of
Freedom Doukhobor’s convicted of arson, hence the all-metal

According to Tupper, “There’s usually only a skeleton staff
on duty in the evening, and not many during the day. Were
there a big fire inmates would be called out to help. A good
reason for fire fighting training. 

Inmates might also be called to fight brush and forest fires in
the surrounding bush, said Tupper. We try to meet all contingencies.
One-time guard, Vic Friesen of the Provincial
Fire Marshall’s Office set up the program, using equipment
available at Mountain. Instruction was a daily three-hour
session, with films, first aid, and practical training. 

Foster explained the program could assist inmates in finding
a job after release. A certificate, showing the course has
been taken, plus other tests, is required.”

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“Austrian Loses Life In Internment Fire,” Toronto Globe. January 1, 1917. Page 08.

Eighty-four Other Alien Enemies Escape Death

Blaze At Laura Camp

Powell Kioitory Got Out, But Went Back Into Burning Building to Secure Some Personal Effects and Met His Death.

Fire destroyed the Laura internment camp building at the Sudbury district industrial farm near Farmlands, on the C.N.R. at an early hour on Saturday morning. One prisoner, Powell Kioitory, an Austrian, was burned to death. Eighty-four other prisoners escaped death, and Kloitory’s death is ascribed to the fact that he persisted in returning to the blazing dormitory, presumably to accure something in his bed.

Mr. S. A. Armstrong, Deputy Provincial Secretary, received the following official report by wire yesterday from the Superintendent:

Laura Camp, at Farmlands, C.N.R. station, was burned at 2.30 a.m. on December 30. The administration cottage, store and all outbuildings were saved. One man, an Austrian interned prisoner, Powell Kloitory, about forty years old, was burned to death. There were eight-four prisoners, and all but the one man were safely removed. The evidence shows that Kloitory had fully dressed, and had gone out of or down to the entrance of the dormitory, and had then returned back into the building, where he was met by another prisoner, who had returned to secure bed clothes, and was coming out.

Caught in Flames.
‘This prisoners took Kloitory by the arm and tried to get him to come out, but he jerked away, plunged back into the smoke, and was overcome. It is supposed that there was something in his bed that he desired to secure.

‘The fire started in the bakery from some unknown source. The night guard blew the fire signal and unlocked the double fire escape door provided, and in three minutes the prisoners were all out.

‘The District Coroner of Sudbury was promptly notified and held an inquest the same afternoon. He expressed himself as being satisfied with the action of the officers in charge.’ 

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