Charges pending after St. Catharines house fire

St. Catharines Fire Department CrestThe owner of a Louth Street home damaged by fire will be charged after firefighters found smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms were not installed as required by Ontario law.

St. Catharines firefighters responded to reports of fire at 67 Louth St. at 3 p.m. Monday, May 15 and found the deck and exterior walls behind the two-unit home engulfed in flames.

Fire Chief Dave Wood said careless use of smoking materials started the fire and crews found the home was missing smoke alarms in certain areas and missing carbon monoxide alarms when investigating the cause of the blaze.

“Working smoke alarms and working carbon monoxide alarms are proven to save lives and to find out this home was missing these vital devices is unacceptable,” said Fire Chief Dave Wood.

The Ontario Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on every level of a home and outside sleeping areas. The fire code also requires working carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas and in service rooms of multi-unit residence when a property has fuel burning furnaces and appliances, fireplaces and attached garages.

The home was missing smoke alarms outside the main floor bedroom areas and did not have working carbon monoxide alarms installed outside sleeping areas.

One person was home in the upstairs unit at the time of the fire and exited the property safely. No injuries were reported. Damage is estimated at between $75,000 and $100,000.

The fire chief also reminds residents to take care when disposing of smoking materials such as cigarette butts and matches; use large, deep ashtrays or appropriate fire-safe containers; never smoke in sleeping areas or near upholstered furniture; and never leave lit cigarettes unattended.

Visit www.stcatharines.ca/FireSafety for more information about smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire safety.

Source – City of St. Catharines press release

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