Innes Fraser was off duty when he spotted blaze
Robin Kuniski/For Metro Calgary
Off-duty firefighter Innes Fraser doesn’t consider himself a hero.
Fraser’s swift reaction to the sight of smoke may have helped four people walk away uninjured from a two-alarm blaze at Apple Auto Body on the 100 block of 50 Ave. SW and kept monetary damages to a minimum.
"All the people I work with, they all would have done the same thing," Fraser said. "I would hope that the people in there would have had enough sense to get out, but we know that’s not always the case."
Fraser was on his way to the Red Cross to pick up supplies when he saw smoke billowing from a business a few blocks away.
He arrived at Apple Auto Body a short time later, seeing no emergency equipment, just flames lapping at the building’s roof, with a man running back into the business.
The firefighter called 911, entered the building and immediately gave orders to evacuate while sweeping through the building room by room.
"There was a lot of confusion," Fraser said.
"One guy was trying to get files out of a cabinet. There were another two gentlemen in the back, grabbing tools I think. I just told everyone to get out immediately."
Inside, owner Ray Bean was struggling to patch through an emergency call.
"I had two phones going, one in each hand," a distraught and teary-eyed Bean said from his car hours after the blaze.
"I don’t know … this is just a disaster."
No one was injured in the fire, which reportedly started in a paint booth. Damage is estimated at $450,000.