Fire crews offer reassurance to residents following fatal fire at apartment building
Chatam Dailey News

Residents of a Chatham apartment building have been offered some reassurance by local firefighters after a tragic Oct. 24 fire claimed the life of 40-year-old Daphne Wilkins.

Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services crews returned to 50 Merritt Ave. Friday as part of the service’s After the Fire Reassurance Campaign.

Residents received information from Chatham-Kent’s My Part: Apartment Fire & Emergency Planning, an educational program designed to increase the knowledge of fire safety, evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures for residents living in apartment buildings.

“The loss of a life in such terrible circumstances was a difficult call for the crews that attended the fire on Saturday and the whole department, who naturally reflect upon a tragic loss of life,” fire Chief Chris Case said in a media release.

“What we have seen today has been the crews from Chatham return to the apartment block and offer reassurance to the obviously shocked and saddened friends and neighbours of the deceased and an opportunity for them to discuss any concerns and ask questions of their firefighters to ensure the safety of their homes.”

An investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshal confirmed the cause of the fire as accidental. The fire marshal also confirmed that a smoke alarm within the apartment, where Wilkins was the only tenant, did function as designed and was heard by witnesses.

Chatham-Kent police have indicated the woman’s death is not considered suspicious.

Chatham-Kent fire teams will continue to work relentlessly to prevent fires and reduce instances of fire deaths and injuries, said the fire chief.

Case encourages the community to talk with the Chatham-Kent department about home safety at any time.

If anyone has a question about fire safety or wants to book a CHIRP Home Alarm Check, they can email or call 519-360-1998.

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