Fatal fire at Bancroft retirement home caused by ‘careless smoking’

Fatal fire at Bancroft retirement home caused by ‘careless smoking’
CTV News
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Fatal fire at Bancroft retirement home caused by ‘careless smoking’

Careless smoking caused a fire that killed an elderly woman at a retirement home in Bancroft earlier this month, the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office said.

Emergency responders were called to the R.J. Retirement Centre on Alice Street in Bancroft, north of Peterborough, around 4 a.m. on March 15. Officers saw smoke throughout the building.

That morning, Bancroft Fire Chief Pat Hoover told CTV News Toronto that it appeared the fire began inside one of the apartment units.

“We were able to contain the fire to the room of origin,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’ve lost one of our residents of this building to this fire.”

The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Margaret Kellestine, a resident of Bancroft, Ont.

The Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office deemed the fire “accidental” in nature.

The retirement centre was evacuated and all 47 residents were moved next door to the Bancroft Bible Chapel on Hastings Street North. It is not known whether the residents have been allowed back into R.J. Retirement Centre.

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