Facebook – That is how we heard of the fire across the street in Limbrick

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Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Limbrick fire
Video shot by Raven Linklater of the fire in Limbrick on September 10 2012

Limbrick fire
Photo shot by Raven Linklater of the fire in Limbrick on September 10 2012

THUNDER BAY – Special to NNL – Facebook. That is how we heard of the fire across the street in Limbrick. My daughter was on Facebook chatting and someone told her about the fire on G block. I asked her where it was and she told me 64. We know people in 58, 61, 62, 63 and 66. We were concerned and went to see how they were. 

Looking out our kitchen window we can see a pall of thick black smoke. As we approached, the acrid sting of smoke was in the air. Upon getting closer people were excited and a few frantic parents were looking for their children.  

A multitude of sirens blazed through space. I realized this was very serious. I took in the blaze, in wonder at how fast it engulfed the unit. We could hear windows smashing, some from the firefighters and others from the fire itself. An awestruck child wandered ever too close to the fire. I came out of my daze and went to find the children I had meant to look for. I found two of the four, one of which was carrying a 2 year old toddler, and brought them to my house. Things were chaotic for a while until enough resources were attending the fire and surrounding area. 

All of G block was evacuated for safety reasons. Police, Fire and Paramedics were there and exhibiting their heroism. They all worked together and I commend them. 

Police kept people at the safe distance and ensure an exit route for the ambulances. Firefighters pummeled the fire with water and went into the burning inferno to save people.  

The paramedics went close to the fire to perform CPR on someone and brought those who needed care to the hospital. A trifecta of emergency response was enacted. 

Eventually, I located all kids and their babysitter and brought them to a safe place. I kept returning to the scene to see how people were and to see if the mother whose children I had, was home at 61. I tried to speak with emergency personnel to see if I could leave a message for her with them. I would have like to have seen a Communications Command Centre set up. People were evacuated and others could not find each other through the throng of people. 

I ended up bringing more kids to my house to feed them and give them a place to stay during the time of duress. We had a smudge and a circle to talk about how they were. It helped them to talk through their feelings. These kids saw their friend’s house being engulfed in flames and people being taken away in ambulances and hearing that their friend died. We now know that the last thing was not true, but these children are still traumatized. 

The trauma has happened three times since I have lived here for 13 months. The first time was a fire in 36 C. The second was when a man was brutally beaten and later died in hospital. It was during this time that children ran up to the unit that the emergency was happening in at and gawked.

One of the children came over to me and told me what she saw. There was a haunted look in her face as she spoke.  

Not one of those times have I heard of people coming in and doing trauma counseling.  

There are so many misnomers flying around that someone needs to come and tell this community what happened and ask how they are. 

Raven Linklater