Three fires within a week

There were fires in three different Canadian condominiums within one week. This shows that they are not as unusual as we would hope.

These stories are all from the CBC news.

At least 23 people temporarily displaced after condo fire
CBC News Ottawa
06 May 2013

At least 23 people living in a 12-unit condo complex have been temporarily displaced from their homes after a fire broke out early Monday morning.

The call at 1106 Georgeton Pvt., near Aviation Parkway and Hemlock Road, came in just before 6 a.m.

The fire started in an electrical outbuilding attached to the residential complex, firefighters said.

No one was hurt and the fire didn't spread to any nearby units. "The electrical supply to the building has been damaged and, according to electricians on scene, could take up to a week to repair," according to a news release.

Damages are estimated at about $100,000.


Careless smoking deemed cause of Thursday's condo fire
36 people homeless after Saskatoon blaze
CBC News
03 May 2013

Careless smoking has been determined to be the cause of the massive condominium fire on Saskatoon's east side Thursday morning.

Saskatoon fire officials said Thursday that after all other possible causes were ruled out, the cause has been deemed careless disposal of smoking material.

Officials said the fire at 1121 McKercher Drive resulted in damages of $1.5 million to $2 million. No one was hurt but dozens of people were temporarily left homeless.

Contractors will be entering the building today to gather the residents' personal belongings. Officials said alternative accommodations will have to be found for the 36 people who were living in the building at the time.


Saskatoon fire crew kept waiting at condo gates as blaze raged

Chief urges property owners to keep emergency codes updated
CBC News
08 May 2013

The head of the Heritage Estates condo board says it was a terrifying 90 seconds.

The fire department had trucks at the scene of last Friday's early morning blaze within four minutes. But when they arrived at the entrance to the gated community on the city's east side they couldn't get in.

A mix-up in addresses because of multiple 911 calls meant that the entrance codes they were given by their dispatcher didn't match up with the codes needed for the gates' keypad.

"One to three minutes, if it was a medical emergency, that can be the difference between life and death," said condo board president Dennis Peters.

Fire chief Dan Paulsen says getting timely, accurate information is
critical in emergencies where seconds can mean the difference between
life and death.

And he says the current system works. In rare situations where a panicked caller gives the incorrect address, or the codes are outdated, fire crews have proven adept at working around the problem.

"It will slow down entrance, but it won't stop entrance."

Paulsen says there are more than 500 apartment buildings and commercial properties in Saskatoon that have some sort of locked gate or restricted access. Property owners supply the codes to get into these buildings and gated communities to emergency services, and they're kept in a database.

Dispatchers will relay this information to fire crews and emergency personnel while they're racing to the scene. Paulsen says it's in everyone's best interest to keep the information updated.

"It allows us to have access and also prevents an awful lot of damage that be done in us trying to gain entry."

The city reviews the information in the database annually. But he says it's the responsibility of property owners to bring the new information forward should codes change in the interim.


Cigarette caused Fort McMurray apartment blaze shortly after re-entry: fire marshal

CBC News
05 July 2016

A massive fire that tore through a downtown Fort McMurray apartment building last month was caused by an unattended cigarette left in a potted plant inside a suite, Wood Buffalo fire marshal Hunter Langpap said Tuesday.

Upper floors of the four-storey Cassia Manor building, near Prairie Loop Boulevard and Franklin Avenue, were engulfed in flames on the evening of June 6.


Are you prepared?
Has your condominium board prepared an Emergency Plan? Do the residents have a designated Rally Point to go to in case of a building evacuation?

Does the property manager send the residents an annual survey asking if there are anyone in your unit that requires assistance in case of an evacuation?

Does your building have an annual fire drill? The better managed rental apartment and commercial buildings do.

If not, why not?

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