Anderson Avenue fire second Oshawa fire this week with no working smoke alarms

Anderson Avenue fire second Oshawa fire this week with no working smoke alarms
By Reza Skekely
Oshawa This Week
Link to article: Anderson Avenue fire second Oshawa fire this week with no working smoke alarms

Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark is expressing his frustration after the second major fire in a week where firefighters found no working smoke alarms.

Crews were dispatched to 316 Anderson Ave. shortly after 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 9.

The home was fully engulfed in fire when firefighters arrived. A 59-year-old woman and a dog escaped.

“There were no working smoke alarms, so I’m suspecting the dog was barking and roused the occupant, she can’t recollect what happened, but I’m guessing the dog saved her life,” said Clark.

Five trucks plus a command vehicle responded to extinguish the fire at the bungalow. There were no injuries but the home was almost a total loss with more than $100,000 in damages. The cause is still under investigation.

Clark said this is the second fire this week where firefighters found no working smoke alarms.

On Feb. 6 firefighters responded to a fire at 216 Durham St. where a fire originated in a bedroom. There were no injuries in that fire, however on Jan. 9, four people died in a fire at 116 Centre St. N. where there were no working smoke alarms.

“I’m just really frustrated the message isn’t getting out there and people aren’t alarming themselves and protecting themselves with a $20-25 device,” said Clark.

The fire department conducts education activities throughout the year to stress the importance of smoke alarms including door-knocking campaigns and Oshawa Fire Services ramped up the campaign following the Centre Street fire, launching a social media #MySmokeAlarmWorks.

Though the most recent fires are still under investigation Clark said the fire department does lay charges if his department finds there are no working smoke alarms.

“Somehow we have to start getting the message out there we’re looking at some activities we can change, but this is really frustrating,” said Clark. “We’re going to continue to enforce that every house in the city has a working smoke alarm.”

The fine for non-working smoke alarms is up to $50,000 for an individual or a year in prison.

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