Update – Total structure lost: Building Fire in Verona apartment complex

South Frontenac Fire and Rescue personnel continue to extinguish hot spots on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 after a fire destroyed McMullen Manor in Verona on the night of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

UPDATE (Friday, Jan. 8, 2021):

A number of South Frontenac Fire and Rescue trucks and vehicles from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall remained on scene on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 after fire ravaged the McMullen Manor in Verona the night before.

The fire broke out in the Carleton Drive apartment building, which is owned and operated by Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation, just before 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. South Frontenac Fire and Rescue and Frontenac Paramedic Services responded to the blaze, which has displaced all residents of the building.

All McMullen Manor residents are currently being housed at the Verona Free Methodist Church nearby, where Victim Services and the Red Cross are attended to residents’ needs in coordination with Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation.

According to the Township of South Frontenac, there was no loss of life as a result of the fire, however, one resident has been admitted to Kingston General Hospital (KGH) as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. The fire has resulted a total structure loss, with all units in the building affected. South Frontenac Fire and Rescue personnel worked tirelessly to control the fire throughout the night. By 8 a.m. today, the fire was under control, with South Frontenac Fire and Rescue (SFFR) remaining on scene to extinguish any hotspots. In total, five South Frontenac Fire Stations responded to the fire, including over 50 volunteer firefighters, and 17 apparatus. An aerial truck from Kingston Fire and Rescue and an extra tanker from Stone Mills Fire Department were also dispatched to assist with the scene.

“The Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office will be assisting SFFR in the investigation of this incident,” explained Fire Chief Darcy Knott, Director Fire and Emergency Services for South Frontenac Township. “The fire appears to have started in a single unit of the building and then spread quickly. Currently, SFFR has no reason to believe the fire is of a suspicious nature.”

South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal voiced both his concern for the affected residents, as well as his thanks to all those who helped put out the fire, and those who are helping tend to the needs of the displaced residents.

“On behalf of Council and our community, I want to extend my sincere condolences to the residents of McMullen manor who lost their homes in this terrible tragedy. I also want to convey our appreciation to all South Frontenac Fire & Rescue personnel, as well as our neighbouring fire departments in Kingston and Stone Mills that came to assist last night,”Vandewal said in a statement. “While it is devastating to know many lost their homes last night, I am thankful that there was no loss of life and grateful to the Red Cross, Victim Services, the Verona Free Methodist Church, Frontenac Paramedics and the Frontenac Detachment of the OPP for providing support to our residents during this difficult time.”

Residents throughout Frontenac County and the City of Kingston immediately began to respond to the needs of the displaced residents, reaching out with donations of clothing, bedding, food, and money.

“The loss of McMullen Manor will have a large impact on our residents; however, our community has always had a way of pulling together and looking after each other when times are tough,” Mayor Vandewal expressed. “We are already seeing a huge outpouring of support and donations to assist those impacted by this tragedy.”

Kingstonist has reached out to South Frontenac Township as well as Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation to find out the best ways for local residents to donate to those affected by the fire. Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation has indicated they are currently securing locations for the residents and will notify Kingstonist if and when they are able to accept donations. This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

While Highway 38 has been reopened in the area, the Township is asking the residents avoid travelling through the area if at all possible as first responders continue to tend to the scene.

Original article (with additional photos from the scene):

Photo by Lucas Mulder

Highway 38 was closed in Verona on Thursday night and Friday morning while South Frontenac Fire and Rescue responded to a fully involved fire at 6094 Carleton Drive.

The apartment complex, known as McMullen Manor, is a Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation building.

Photo by Lucas Mulder

Reports indicate that a portion of the building collapsed but according to OPP, all people are accounted for. At least one person suffered unspecified injuries in the blaze.

Photo by Gavin Eves.

The Verona Free Methodist Church was used overnight as a warming centre.

Kingston Fire & Rescue and Stone Mills Fire also responded to the scene, assisting with mutual aid.

Photo by Lucas Mulder

Highway 38 was closed through Verona for several hours.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Photo by Lucas Mulder
The real extent of the fire, as seen from across the park adjacent to McMullen Manor. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

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