Editorial: It’s a mystery..

Something stinks at the Peachland View.

As you clear whatever assumptions come your way because of that statement, I’ll clarify: On Sunday, when I opened the front door to our little house/office, I was greeted with an alarm and a smell that I couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t quite that rotten egg smell that’s a dead giveaway for natural gas, but it was strong enough that I decided to lock the door again and ponder the situation. Should I call Fortis? Or is this really not a big deal? I considered the worst-case scenario (because that’s where my mind usually goes), and decided that with a bunch of people around enjoying their Sunday, I would feel terrible if our office exploded or something. So I called Fortis, and the friendly dispatcher told me someone would be on their way…..soon. It’s hard to quantify that, understandably, and even though she told me to stay at the office to wait for a worker, I still had photos to take, so off I went. An hour and a half later, Fortis was still on their way, and I was getting antsy. Who wants to hang outside their possibly gas-filled workplace on a sunny Sunday afternoon? That’s when I saw one of Peachland’s firefighters backing his vehicle up at the fire hall. Maybe he has some advice for me?

I explained the situation, and Anthony was able to give me some advice. I went back to my car, parked across the street from the View, and watched as minutes later, firefighters started to appear at the hall. They hopped on Pumper 21, and seconds later, it was parked in front of the View.

There’s some lead-up here, and I have to tell you, it’s a little anti-climatic. Anthony and his team brought in equipment that detects gas, and no readings were found. But the alarm, one of the firefighters discovered, was a battery backup unit for one of our computers. And the smell? Well, that remains a mystery. By this time, the Fortis guy had shown up, and even on his hands and knees on our office floor, he couldnt ‘detect where the smell was coming from. We all agreed it was bad (perhaps a dead rat or bird in the attic?),  but as the doors and windows were being opened, it started to fade. At this point, I felt really dumb. “I swear, it’s not because it’s a slow news day!” I told them, before thanking them for their time. I grabbed my laptop and left, not really wanting to work from the office for the rest of the day.

On Monday morning, I gave Peachland fire chief Dennis Craig a call. Anthony was the duty commander that day, and he did not once make me feel like an idiot.

“We’d absolutely rather you call than not call,” said Craig.

“We have the equipment to respond to these calls, and especially with gas, you really don’t want to take any chances.”

OK, then. Lesson learned. If you smell something off, or if something doesn’t seem right, never hesitate to make that call. The pros at Fortis and our local fire department are willing to help, and they’d much rather find the call is for naught than to discover an unconscious editor on the floor of the View (again, worst-case scenario).

On Monday, Henry from Peachland-based Bug Sense arrived at the View. By this time, the smell was there, but definitely muted. After a thorough inspection of our property (which he did for free), he couldn’t find anything. Are we that messy? I don’t think so, and we’re still stumped. But the air is clear now, and you’re welcome to visit our sour gas-free office for all your newspapering needs.

And once again, this goes to show we live in a town with some pretty great people. 

Speaking of which, Peachland Elementary PAC is hosting its annual school carnival this coming Thursday, June 6 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the school. As one of the volunteers, it’s been the best year yet in terms of the positive energy and involvement from the community. To name a few, The Lions, the Rotary, Community Policing, Peachland Rec, Bosley’s, the local public library, BEEPS, VantageOne Credit Union, our fire fighters and many more are all invited. Rumour has it Mayor Cindy Fortin may even brave the dunk tank at 5:30. Everyone is welcome to take part in games, crafts, food, music and fun. All proceeds are going to our playground fund. 

Have a great week, all!

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