Discarded cigarette cited as cause
TORONTO, April 27, 2012 /CNW/ -
After a comprehensive fire investigation, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has determined that the cause of the fire that began at 248 East Boundary Road in Alexandria on August 12, 2011 was an improperly discarded cigarette. Four people tragically perished as a result of this fire.
The investigation revealed that the fire originated on the exterior porch at the front of the home and that it blocked the only exit. Investigators also determined that while there was a working smoke alarm on the main storey of the home, there was no battery in the smoke alarm outside the sleeping areas on the second storey.
This fatal fire highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas, developing and practicing a home fire escape plan, and the importance of properly disposing of cigarettes in deep ashtrays.
The OFM's investigative five member team worked with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Coroner's Office throughout its investigation. The investigation looked into many factors that contributed to the fire including building performance, smoke alarm functionality, occupant behaviour, fire safety planning and evacuation.
"This fire was preventable. It is a tragic reminder that home fire safety is everyone's responsibility. Working smoke alarms provide that early warning to escape in a fire. Practice your home fire escape plan tonight so that you know where to go when the smoke alarm sounds. Determine in advance who will be responsible for young children or anyone else who may need assistance. If you smoke, make sure that cigarette butts are fully extinguished."
- Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal
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For further information:
Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3138