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January 28, 2021 – Last night a 14 year old male was playing in a snow cave next to his home in the Serene Lakes area when the snow shed/slid off the roof and completely buried him. Nobody witnessed the incident but when he didn’t come inside after a few hours, family members looked for him, couldn’t find him and called 911. The experienced first arriving firefighter/paramedics from Truckee Fire immediately suspected a roof avalanche and began probing the debris at the bottom of the roof. They got a hit with the probe, quickly started digging and recovered the boy alive about 5 feet under the snow.
We are extremely happy to share this successful rescue because often these don’t turn out as well. Don’t let this or other winter hazards get you or your family this winter.
WINTER HAZARDS and TIPS
ROOF AVALANCHE – Stay away from the area where snow slides off the roof, especially metal roofs. The snow can come off very forcefully injuring, burying or even killing a person. Keep kids away from playing in these areas, use the buddy system and check on them frequently.
SLEDDING INTO THE STREET. Sledding is fun but when the runout goes out into a street it’s a recipe for disaster. Kids have been struck, injured and killed in Truckee.
DRIVE SLOW – Leave yourself lots of stopping distance. Intersections get particularly slick and driving too fast can result in striking the car in front of you at the intersection.
SNOW BLOWER – It may be obvious to stay away from the spinning auger but not so obvious is the secondary spinning blade in the chute. Never stick a hand in the chute, stop the blower and use a stick to clear. Sticking your hand in the chute is a quick way to lose a few fingers.
AVALANCHES – Avalanches are common around here in the backcountry. Get educated, carry avalanche rescue gear and check the daily avalanche report for the current conditions Sierraavalanchecenter.org. Today is EXTREME Danger, stay out of the backcountry!
CARBON MONOXIDE – CO can build up in your home, especially in winter months. Make sure you have at least 2 working and battery backed-up CO detectors in your home. Call 911 when it alarms and exit the home. Keep the exhaust pipe clear on your car when stuck in the snow too!
SLIP & FALL – Slipping, falling and fracturing bones is a common thing in our environment. Use Ice Melt and boot chains from the hardware store to prevent falls on ice!
Have a Safe Winter! Truckee Fire Protection District