Fire marshal deems fatal Port Colborne blaze accidental
Fire marshal deems fatal Port Colborne blaze accidental
June 13, 2017
Port Colborne Leader
Article by: Mike Zettel

Fire code charges laid against building owners

Port Colborne fire

Four people were killed after a fire swept through a home at 53 Nickel St. early in the morning on Dec. 14. An investigation has determined the cause to be accidental. (File Photo) - Photo by David Ritchie

PORT COLBORNE — Investigators looking into the Nickel Street fire that killed four people last December say the cause has been determined to be accidental.
As well, charges have been laid against the owners of the building in relation to contravention of the Ontario Fire Code.
The fire broke out early Dec. 14, killing a mother, her two young children and the woman's grandmother. Two men were able to escape the fire.
The scene at 53 Nickel St. took a great deal of time to clear, with heavy machinery brought in to remove the debris and firefighters working in sub-zero temperatures.
A release sent out Tuesday by the Port Colborne Fire Department said the results of the investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal, working with Niagara Regional
Police, the Coroner's Office and the fire department, determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, citing "misused ignition source/equipment improperly discharged."
Fire chief Tom Cartwright said that the fire marshal's report the above terminology means investigators have ruled out all mechanical causes with the possible exception of candles and cigarettes.
"Everything else has been eliminated," Cartwright said.
The report was delivered to the fire department a few days ago and has been kept confidential pending a discussion with the surviving family members.
Cartwright noted the family were tenants in the building. The fire department has laid charges against the owners of the building in relation to contravening the fire code.In the release, Cartwright said the fire had a "devastating effect" on family and friends, and a deep impact on emergency responders and investigators.
"The fire department’s deepest sympathy goes out to everyone involved or affected by the tragic loss," Cartwright said.
He added staff at the fire department continues to work diligently to ensure such a tragedy doesn't happen again.