Three townhouse fires in Brampton

Since 2009, there has been three fires in Brampton condo townhouses that caused several units to be severely damaged. Luckily, no one died.

It appears that all three condo complexes did not have proper fire stops in the attics and this allowed the fire to spread through the complex.

The lesson here is for all owners to insure that your townhouse condo has fire stops in the attics and meet all fire codes. Any potential purchasers and  renters need to insure that the buildings meet fire codes.

Also everyone, including renters, needs to have sufficient fire insurance.

You can read about these fires below.

Community rallies to aid Brampton fire victims
Brampton Guardian  (edited)
By Chris Clay
14 December 2015

Aftermath  Photo by Bryon Johnson

A group of Brampton mothers are coming to the aid of families that have been left homeless just weeks before Christmas after a blaze tore through a townhouse complex last night.

Scarlet White and Rosa Laterza have a bunch of items, such as clothing, household necessities and food, they plan on giving to Brampton firefighters tonight to donate to any families that have been affected by the fire that destroyed eight townhomes at the complex at 3 Darras Crt.

As well, both have set up donation bins outside their homes (5 Dudley Place and 15 Grand River Court) and are appealing to the public for donations.

However, Alain Normand, emergency manager with the City of Brampton’s emergency management office, is asking the public to hold off on making donations of goods at this time. He said many of the victims have no place to put the donations and there’s nowhere to store them.

Those willing to help could make a financial donation through the Red Cross, he told reporters gathered at the scene today. He said that the municipality is working with both the Red Cross and the Region of Peel to look after the 14 people (12 adults and two teens) who are temporarily homeless because of the fire.

He added that many of the victims reportedly didn’t have content insurance and have lost everything they had in their homes.

White said talk in the neighbourhood is that the fire might have been started in a garage by someone using a welding torch. However, she conceded that everything she’s heard is just speculation and nothing official.

Meanwhile, Brampton Fire officials have said there were no injuries to any of the homeowners who had to be evacuated from their houses. Fire crews were still on the scene as of this morning.

The cause of the fire hasn’t been released and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified. Damaged is expected to be in the millions.

A number of cars parked in the driveways were also destroyed by the fire.

Brampton Fire officials on the scene did say that the townhome’s mansard-style roofs played a role in the spread of the fire.

Not the first time

Back in 2009, eight families were also forced from their homes after a fire that caused $1.5 million in damage ripped through a townhouse complex on Darras Court.
~ with files from Pam Douglas

From Global News
Peter Gatto, deputy chief of the Brampton Fire Dept. said the fire started in one of two units on the west side of the complex and spread through the remaining units.

“We’re clearly in defensive mode,” he said. “Our crews …  were extremely aggressive. They were trench cutting into the roof which means they were taking chain saws working from the inside and the outside, trying to stop the fire as it progressed.”

Fire crews were still quenching flames at 7 a.m. Sunday.

“The real tragedy here is that there are eight families that are displaced,” Gatto said.

From the Toronto Star
Six years ago, in May 2009, a similar conflagration ripped through a nearby eight-unit complex. Neighbours there Sunday expressed concerns about the townhouses’ construction, which they say has not been updated and lacks firewalls on the upper floors. All the homes on Darras Court were built by the same company and are of the same style.

The complex’s roof — a style called mansard — folds down over two floors and lets fire spread quickly, according Brampton Fire Department platoon chief Ed Davis, who spoke to reporters yards from the building.

“It goes up the face of the building into the attics,” Davis said. Asked if the families would be able to return to their homes, he said, “it doesn’t look like it at this time.”

He estimated the damage to be of $300,000 to $400,000. But the fire in 2009 caused about $1.5 million in damage.

Six pythons removed from townhouse

Brampton Guardian
By Pam Douglas
24 January 2012

Brampton firefighters made a surprising discovery at the scene of a two-alarm fire in Bramalea this afternoon where flames spread from one townhouse unit to another.

They found at least six large, and illegal, python snakes in one of the units, along with two lizards, two cockatiels, a rabbit and some saltwater fish.

The fire is under control but still causing problems for firefighters who called in Brampton Hydro to cut power to three units in the complex.

Firefighters arrived at 475 Bramalea Road at approximately 1 p.m. Smoke was coming from at least one unit and residents in neighbouring units were evacuated.

Fire spread
The fire  spread through the roof to an adjacent unit, and flames were seen coming from the roofs of both townhouses. A cinder block fire separation prevented the flames from spreading through the roof to a third unit, according to reports from the scene, although smoke did spread.

It appeared the flames were kept to the second floor of the units involved.

Firefighters remained on scene after the fire was contained, searching for and putting out hotspots. The roofs had to be pulled apart to ensure any areas left smouldering were doused.

A Brampton Transit bus was brought to the scene to provide shelter for residents forced from their homes.

There were nine fire trucks on scene.

It's believed the blaze started in the bathroom in one of the townhouse units before spreading to at least two other units. The initial estimate pegged the damage at $250,000.

Meeting fire code
As a result of this fire, the fire department saw that the condo units did not meet fire code and they issued work orders to improve fire resistance between the townhouse units. The work had to be completed by early 2013.

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