Downtown Kenora fire leaves close to 20 homeless

Downtown Kenora fire leaves close to 20 homeless
Kenora Daily Miner and News

No cause for the fire that ripped through an apartment complex on Matheson Street in the early morning hours of April 20 has been established yet, which Kenora fire chief Todd Skene said was a tricky blaze to extinguish for his crew.

Skene said he received word and rolled out of bed to answer the call around 1:50 a.m. The fire started in one apartment but the fire chief added spread quickly to neighbouring rooms and one located above and adjacent.

“It was a hot, hot fire that spread quickly though we were able to contain and control it by about 3 a.m., there were hot spots to deal with until about six,” said Skene.

No one was injured in the blaze but 18 people, including two children, were left without a place to sleep. Most tenants were relocated to the nearby Super 8 Motel for the night. The damage left the complex uninhabitable for residents to return, save for a brief visit to collect their things for some - many lost everything through fire, smoke and water damage.

Skene said the fact there were working smoke alarms, last inspected in January, likely played a role in helping everyone get out safely.

Kevin Queen has owned the property since 2001 and said it was too soon to say whether it would be worth renovating after the fire or ripping down the building and putting up something new.

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