Four Receive Barrie’s Award Of Merit For Life Saving Efforts During Little Ave. Fires

Halie Thomas, Rory & Cordell Bell, and Chris Cobb Hailed At City Hall

Quick thinking and bravery getting a “Little” recognition at Barrie City Hall Monday night. At a special stop down at Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Jeff Lehman made sure to recognize some key players in the events that helped get everyone out safely, following a destructive apartment fire on Little Avenue in late April. Four people received the city’s Award of Merit Monday evening, for their efforts on the night of April 23rd that Mayor Lehman says saved lives.

Listen: Mayor Jeff Lehman describes the first moments of the Little Ave. Fire

Haile Thomas was the one who first noticed the fire coming from 100 Little Ave. while walking her dog, and not only rousted the neighbour who’s unit was smoking, but also pulled the alarm to begin the evacuation. Rory and Cordell Bell are credited with helping to get people out of the apartment complex, with Rory going as far as the third floor, knocking on doors, while Cordell assisted those with mobility issues. Christopher Cobb not only crawled through smoke filled rooms and hallways to rescue the young child of a friend, trapped within the burning building, but carried the child out on his back.

Related: Fire Comes As Barrie Struggles to Provide Affordable Housing

“This award is given for extraordinary actions which contributed to saving lives. It is not an award that is given out lightly or often.” says Mayor Lehman, who went on to give recognition to other city services involved in the recovery that night. Barrie Fire and Emergency Services got a pat on the back from council Monday night for the timely response, while the Barrie Non-Profit Housing Corporation and Simcoe County Social Services staff were both recognized for fulfilling the immediate needs of those displaced.