Seniors home in Gander briefly evacuated due to electrical fire

Residents all accounted for, were huddled under blankets or in cars to keep warm.

Residents huddled under blankets, in cars to keep warm

Seniors were allowed back into the Golden Years Estate in Gander after a brief evacuation due to a small electrical fire Thursday morning. (Melissa Tobin/CBC)

Residents and staff were briefly evacuated from a seniors home in Gander Thursday morning following a small electrical fire.

Two trucks from Gander Fire Rescue were on the scene at the Golden Years Estate unloading hoses before 10 a.m.

According to Fire Chief Paul Fudge, an electrical short in a heater in the building's common area was to blame. He said by the time crews went inside to investigate, the fire had put itself out.

"Due to the fact that we didn't know what we had when we arrived on scene, evacuation was the prudent thing to do," Fudge said.

Seniors were forced outside, huddled together under blankets to keep warm in the chilly temperatures.

Fudge said seniors were relocated to the building next door and the scene was cleared a short time later.

Staff at this Gander seniors home say all residents are safe and accounted for after alarms went off in the building this morning. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"Everything went smoothly. We got everyone outside safely, covered in blankets and coats — anything we could find," said Robbin Lahey, resident care manager.

Lahey told CBC that staff and residents do monthly evacuation drills, so everyone knew just what to do.

"Everyone's fine, everyone's perfect, we got everyone out."

With files from Chris Ensing and Melissa Tobin