Premier Ford to Attend Service Honouring Ontario's Fallen Firefighters
Thunder Bay lost MICHAEL FIKIS March 5, 1979
THUNDER BAY, TORONTO, ONTARIO ~~~~~ October 2, 2022 (LSNews) Premier Ford Premier Doug Ford joined by Solicitor General Michael Kerzner to attend a memorial service honouring Ontario’s fallen firefighters.
It’s a true honour to be here with you for this solemn occasion.
The pandemic prevented us from coming together over the last two years to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
I’m very thankful that we can all gather here today to remember the brave women and men who gave their lives protecting us.
They are all heroes… who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty and service to their community.
And while they’re no longer with us, their honour and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
That is why we are here today…
To mark their lives… to honour their memories… and remember their names.
Their names which are now forever inscribed on this monument.
Let me thank you all from the bottom of my heart, we are forever grateful for your service.
I would also like to thank the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, and the Fire Fighters Association of Ontario…
For working to ensure we have a lasting memorial dedicated to their service and sacrifice to communities across Ontario.
We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
God Bless you all.
MICHAEL CHARLES FIKIS
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Department Thunder Bay Fire Department
Category full time
Date of Death March 5, 1979
Date of Funeral March 8, 1979
Cemetery Riverside Cemetery
National Memorial Location 9
3/5/1979 a Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada firefighter died while operating at a lumber factory fire. “The night watchman for the Great West Timber Company at the foot of Clavet Street notified the fire department of a fire in one of their wood kilns. He then also called the owner at home and let him know of the fire. At 2:06 a.m., Pumpers 3 and 4 and a salvage truck from Court Street and Pumper 5 from Hodder Ave and Platoon Chief from HQ responded to the large lumber factory on the Port Arthur waterfront. When crews arrived, at 2:10, they found a thirty-foot-high-concrete block structure with a fire inside. The structure was used as a wood chip bin for the fuel of the dry kiln attached to it. The wood chip pile had a deep-seated fire smoldering inside it. They started to apply water from above and below thru hatch’s, when the owner arrived and wanted to investigate the situation. As firefighters were working on the roof above the bin, the owner climbed a ladder and looked into the bin. At around 3:00 a.m., after being warned by firefighters to stay out of the bin, he started to climb down the service ladder inside, A firefighter grabbed his arm to stop him, but he shook it off and continued down. Firefighters continued calling out to the owner to come out and when they lost voice contact, A firefighter put on breathing apparatus and started down the ladder to rescue the owner. Two additional firefighters followed the first down the ladder about 15 feet to the top of the wood chip pile, where they found the owner unconscious. The first firefighter tried mouth to mouth and then placed his mask on the owner, as he and another firefighter dragged the owner toward the ladder. The incident commander put a call out for more help. In the bin the first firefighter grew faint and collapsed from lack of oxygen. The second firefighter placed the air mask back on him and feeling faint himself now, started back out of the bin. With the help of others, the second firefighter barley made it out and collapsed on the roof. Firefighters climbed back down to rescue the first firefighter and the owner. They were able to tie a rope around the first firefighter and he was pulled up and out of the bin. He was unconscious and rushed to Port Arthur General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. At the fire scene, the burning wood chips began to collapse and buried the owner. Firefighters had to scramble up the ladder and cut a hole in the brick wall from the outside to remove his body.”
At the present time, Thunder Bay City Council is planning on closing more Firehall
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