Careless smoking, malfunctioning exhaust fan blamed for separate late night fires
A pair of back-to-back fires at two separate residences in London Thursday night caused a combined $95,000 damage.
Firefighters were first called to a blaze at a townhouse at 960 Western Road, just north of Cedar Avenue around 10 p.m.
“[Crews] arrived to find heavy smoke in the bathroom-area on an upper floor of the unit,” said Platoon Chief Gary Mosburger. “Upon further investigation in the attic space, they realized there was an actual structure fire going on above the ceiling.”
Adjoining units were evacuated as a precaution while firefighters worked to extinguish the fire.
Ultimately, crews had to pull down part of the ceiling to access the fire, which was burning along the home’s roof trusses.
No one was hurt, but damage was estimated at around $80,000.
“That figure could rise depending on the extent of smoke damage,” Mosburger added. “You’re looking at a significant repair with roof truss replacement, insulation, probably a whole new bathroom as a result of the fire.”
The cause of the blaze was determined to be a malfunctioning washroom exhaust fan.
Whether you are the homeowner or a tenant, it is always a good idea to do regular cleaning and maintenance on such devices, Mosburger said.
Roughly an hour after the Western Road blaze, crews were called to an apartment fire on the sixth floor of 136 Albert Street downtown.
“It was a fairly minor situation with a small fire burning in a couch…. We did have a person taken to hospital due to possible smoke inhalation,” said Mosburger.
Damage is pegged at $15,000.
Fire investigators determined the blaze was caused by the careless discarding of smoking materials.
“In this case, there was smoking material that had fallen into the couch,” said Mosburger. “With the way interior furnishings are built nowadays it is incredible how quickly they can start to burn. Even with just a cigarette it doesn’t take long for the material to catch fire. So make sure the cigarette gets put out completely.”