Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fire's burning, fire's burning.

When I was in primary school, my teacher taught me this short song:

Fire's burning, fire's burning
Send the engine. send the engine.

Fire! Fire!  Fire! Fire!
Pour on water!
Pour on water!

Now, I teach my students, they like the sound effect of the fire engine, and I let them add it, 

wee O! wee o!. 

The boys love it, while playing with my fire truck.



I was interested to see this sign at a shopping mall at Massey, West Auskland.

Once in 2005, I was with my daughter and my uncle D. We had just entered St Lukes shopping mall in Westfield, Mt Albert when loud alarm bells sounded. There were no security guards or fire marshalls to tell the shoppers what to do. Some left, and some just stayed.

After a while, we heard fire appliances. Uncle D said, it was time to go. By then, the car park was full of cars causing quite a jam. I don't remember seeing this shopping mall with a evacuation sign.

New Zealand is an earth quake prone country. Two months ago, no body would have thought that Christchurch would be struck with a 7.4 Richter scale earthquake.

Recently I was involved in a conference/summit meeting for two days. If we left the centre, we had to inform the management. It was precaution, just in case.

Looks like the management of this Mall never learnt.  Years later, this happens. The woman must have been so frightened, especially when 3 toddlers died in a fire in Doha recently.


Last updated 05:00 22/08/2012
Rose French
ROSE FRENCH: Trapped in the Cotton On shop while the Westfield St Lukes was evacuated.
A woman locked in a shop at Westfield St Lukes during a fire feared the incident could have turned into the Doha mall blaze that killed 19.
Rose French was trying on clothes in Cotton On earlier this month when the mall was evacuated after a vehicle burst into flames in the car park.
She had been in the fitting room for some time when she walked back into the shop to find it empty and its roller door bolted shut.
French didn't initially panic. The music was still playing in the store and she hadn't heard an alarm or been asked to leave.
''I thought they must have a really cruisy manager and they've just closed up," she said.
''Then I thought, 'Wait a minute, I can't open the door. Oh my God, there are no lights on and there's nobody outside'.
''Then I smelt smoke coming and I could hear sirens.''
French's mind quickly turned to May's Doha blaze that claimed the lives of Kiwi triplets Lillie, Willsher and Jackson Weekes.
She began jumping around frantically and eventually managed to catch the attention of a fire warden who tried to break down the door.
Eventually the Cotton On shop assistant was found and came back to unlock it.
French said the assistant seemed oblivious to how serious the situation was.
''She said, 'I hope you guys didn't buckle my door or you'll be paying for it', and then she laughed.''
French had to go back into the shop to get her own clothes back after the mall was given the all clear.
She wants Westfield and Cotton On to acknowledge the incident shouldn't have happened and proper protocol wasn't followed.
''I wasn't hurt, but what about the next people?'' she said. ''It only takes one person to slip up and people can die.''
Westfield New Zealand's general manager Linda Trainer said she appreciated the incident had been distressing for French and the company was looking into what happened.
''Westfield takes shoppers' and retailers' safety seriously. It is a primary focus of our operations,'' she said.
Trainer said the company has regular fire drills which are audited by independent safety officers and Westfield's own risk management team.
She said fire wardens were responsible for clearing common areas but individual shops needed to make sure their customers were safely evacuated.
A Cotton On spokesperson said the company was investigating.


Hootin Anni said...

I've never heard this song, but it's something that a young student should learn and heed.

Around our town, outside the malls, we have evacuation signs also, but they direct us on how to get out of harm's way of hurricanes....the routes to evacuated from where you are at the time it hits.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

What a cute little song, Ann. I have never heard it --but I can imagine how much the children loved making those sounds!!!!


Al said...

That would be terrifying. As I'm sure you've seen, we've had terrible fires in my city this summer.

Anonymous said...

It was soooo scary, I appreciate your comments, Rose French

diane b said...

Gosh that could have been really serious. Both the shop assistants and the Mall administration need to get their act together.