Children Safe After Van Fills With Smoke

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 6:22am

On Tuesday, February 2nd at 5:30 pm, Former Firefighter Paramedic Paul Elvord pulled two young children from a van, after it started to fill with smoke. Fire investigators believe the fire started as the result of an electrical malfunction in the interior lighting. The fire ignited curtains, pillows, bench seat and captains chair while the children were inside.

Elvord was at the McDonald's on Park Street when he was alerted by someone who screamed that a van was on fire in the parking lot. Elvord instructed a bystander to call 911, grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside. He noticed the children huddled in the front of the conversion van, and saw fire towards the back of the van. Elvord pulled the children from the van and put the fire out prior to the arrival of Ladder 6 and Medic 6.

The children were evaluated by Medic 6 for smoke inhalation, but not transported.

At the time of the fire, the children were left unattended but the van was not running. The van filled with toxic smoke from the materials that were burning inside, including polyurethane foam. Children are particularly susceptible to these toxic fumes. Investigators at the scene say Elvord's quick actions kept the children from harm, and likely saved their lives.


  • Bernadette Galvez608-261-9844