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Birthday Candles Trigger False Fire Alarm

October 7, 1988

RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) _ Just how much heat do 100 candles generate?

Apparently enough to set off fire alarms at Richmond Memorial Hospital, bringing four fire trucks and 16 firefighters to interrupt a patient’s birthday party.

About 115 family members, friends and fellow patients had gathered Thursday in this Vancouver suburb to celebrate Katome Koboyashi’s 100th birthday.

″They had arranged to wheel her out into the main room at the same time the family was to wheel in the cake from the other side,″ said party organizer Anne De Silva.

Just as Kobayashi and her cake were to meet, the crowd was startled by the alarms.

″It was more confused than anything else,″ De Silva said. ″In the end, we even forgot to have her blow out the candles.″

″We just got there, canceled the alarm and got the heck out,″ said district fire chief Harry Beetstra. ″We didn’t want to disturb the party.″

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