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GO commuter kicks in extinguisher barrier to stop fire

An electrical fire broke out on the 5:53 p.m. on the Lakeshore East GO train on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

After a 680News listener named John punched the fire extinguisher case several times without success, he kicked it about four times before breaking the case.

“It’s not ideal in a serious emergency,” John wrote. “I think GO Transit should do something about this.”

680News called GO Transit to get reaction.

GO Transit Manager of Media Relations Anne Marie Aikins said the extinguisher is behind the barrier in order to protect people and its placement is standard on trains.

“They’re behind a barrier on purpose. It has to be durable, safe and accessible. Otherwise they might fall on people’s heads or people could knock them over on a busy train,” Aikins said.

But the customer had to kick it.

“It seemed difficult for the customer to get it out, but he did get it out, and that’s the most important thing,”Aikins said. “It doesn’t concern me (because) most of the time when they have to be used, it’s our staff, who are more familiar with getting them out, that are using it.”

The commuters had pulled the alarm right away.

Aikins explained that because it was a busy rush-hour train, the customer service representative did get there after a few minutes. Aikins said the representative would have been able to get the extinguisher out if the commuter hadn’t.

According to GO, the fire was caused by a commuter pouring their coffee into the electrical equipment.