Cause determined in the fire of a building while the tenants remain in uncertainty


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TILLSONBURG — Reckless smoking has been cited as the cause of an apartment fire in this southwestern Ontario town that has forced several apartment building residents out for several weeks so far.

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“The cause was determined to be smoking materials, which ignited some flooring or bedding materials,” Tillsonburg Fire Chief Shane Caskanette said.

The fire started in the early morning of March 8 on the fourth floor of the six-storey building at 195 Lisgar Ave., in this city located in south-east London.

A resident of the building, who asked not to be identified, said there was still a security guard on site. Residents have been allowed to return for some items, but cannot stay in the structure at this time. Repair work is underway, but there is no specific timeline when it will be completed.

There was a working fire alarm system in the building, Caskanette said.

Firefighters say reckless smoking was the cause of a March 8 apartment fire in Tillsonburg. Photo by CHRIS ABBOTT /Norfolk and Tillsonburg News

“I definitely encourage our residents to make sure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This is one of the main things people can do to keep themselves and their families safe,” he said.

Firefighters rescued around 16 people from their balconies after hallways and stairwells filled with smoke. There was extensive water damage in units on lower floors and smoke damage throughout the building, Caskanette said.

Oxford County officials have been available to help residents since the fire. The Salvation Army helped those affected with material support – food and other essentials.


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