Oliver fire chief saves boy from burning RV

Young victim said to be doing OK, but has second-degree burns on 40 per cent of his upper-body

Oliver fire chief Dan Skaros

Oliver fire chief Dan Skaros

The quick actions of Oliver fire chief Dan Skaros and paramedics may have saved a boy’s life.

Skaros was at an emergency services meeting with B.C. Ambulance officials when he smelled smoke and heard a commotion about 1.5 blocks away at Centennial RV Park. At the same, around 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday, the Oliver Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a fire.

“When Chief Skaros arrived there was a lot of smoke coming out of the RV. He got some people to assist him to find a ladder then found something to break the window in the back of the RV. He was able to find a boy and remove him from the trailer,” said Rob Graham, fire fighter and media officer for the Oliver Volunteer Fire Department.

The eight-year-old boy was lifted off the bed in the RV then transferred over to a paramedic and taken to the South Okanagan General Hospital.

“I do know at this time the boy is in Vancouver at a burn unit and has received second-degree burns to 40 per cent of his upper body,” said Graham, adding the fire chief has minor abrasions on his arm from smashing the window to get into the RV.

“For anybody who goes through something like that, there is a lot of emotion going on after. He did a great job and was in the right place at the right time. When you know there is someone inside, there is a lot of things that just take over and you don’t really think about your own safety. You just want to make sure those people involved are safe,” said Graham.

The firefighter said from what he understands the family was new to town and staying at the campground. Graham said the fire department is not certain at this point what the cause of the fire is, but it is not suspicious.