Apartment fire prompts early morning evacuation of east-end high-rise

Residents gather outside The Wellington apartment building, located at 745 Highway 15, as firefighters work to knock down a fire that broke out in a fourth-floor unit just after 1 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 8, 2024. Still captured from submitted video.

The residents of a 14-storey apartment building in Kingston’s east end were forced to venture outdoors in the early morning hours after a fire broke out in one of the units.

At approximately 1:13 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 8, 2024, the fire alarm at The Wellington apartment building on Highway 15 sounded, dispatching Kingston Fire & Rescue crews to the address while sending those within the buildings’ 116 units outside to safety.

While fire crews were en route to the scene, emergency services dispatchers radioed the firefighters to let them know callers had reported the smell of smoke on the tenth floor of the building, Kingston Fire & Rescue told Kingstonist later in the day.

Kingston Fire & Rescue on scene at The Wellington apartment building on Highway 15. Submitted photo.

Upon arrival, firefighters found visible flames coming from a fourth-floor balcony, and residents still evacuating the building, according to the local fire department.

“Fire crews charged a hose line and quickly extinguished the fire from the exterior of the building,” Kingston Fire & Rescue said.

Once the fire was out, fire crews made their way to the fourth floor of the building “to complete a search and confirm the fire was extinguished,” the fire department relayed, noting that, shortly thereafter, the building was ventilated, and tenants were permitted to re-enter the building.

Kingston Fire & Rescue reported that no injuries were reported as a result of the incident, and that the residents of the affected apartment were provided with accommodations; the fire was contained to one unit. Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire was “improper disposal of smokers’ materials,” and estimated the cost of damages to be $25,000.

Kingston Fire & Rescue crews remained on scene at 745 Highway 15 for approximately two hours and 15 minutes.

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