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Downtown Windsor Mall briefly evacuated after child pulls fire alarm

The Windsor Fire Department was called to the Windsor Mall after the fire alarm was triggered April 19.
The Windsor Fire Department was called to the Windsor Mall after the fire alarm was triggered April 19.

WINDSOR, N.S. — Staff and visitors to the Windsor Mall were evacuated briefly April 19 after a fire alarm sounded just before the lunch hour.

“Everybody did well; they evacuated the building and waited,” said Windsor's Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Juteau.

The fire alarm activation was accidental as it had been set off by a child.

However, while firefighters were on scene, they began investigating a report of a strange burning odour.

“We determined at first that a youngster had pulled the fire alarm but in so doing, there were also some complaints of burning plastic at the same time,” said Juteau.

“At which point I upgraded the alarm and requested a tower ladder out of Brooklyn and second pumper from our station and investigated further until we could confirm that everything was in order.”

It was determined that the smell was coming from a hot transformer in the electrical room.

Juteau said electricians will be called in to address that.

The fire department is also looking into why they were not immediately notified about the fire alarm.

Windsor Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Juteau discusses the situation at the Windsor Mall with fellow firefighters Lieut. Andrew Steeves and Deputy Fire Chief Ian Duey April 19.

“We were actually at the station and all of a sudden different members started to get text messages, phone calls and Facebook messages about an alarm going off at the Windsor Mall. We had not received an alarm or a page out at that point,” said Juteau.

While waiting for the fire department to arrive, people at the scene were asking what was taking them so long to respond since the station is located one street away.

“We are... very upset and concerned in regards to the delay because we did not receive any page or any notification. I'm investigating that further with the building owners today,” said Juteau.

The deputy fire chief said he's also requesting that the mall's alarm system be inspected so that in the future, the fire department will be notified immediately.

Juteau said people may not realize that some fire alarms don't activate an emergency response.

“What people have to understand is that not every building is monitored by an alarm company. Fire alarms are designed to evacuate people. Property is secondary.”

As such, if an alarm is sounding but there's no sign of the fire department, Juteau advises evacuees to immediately call 911.

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