Fire inside old Gino’s building sends one to hospital

Kingston Fire and Rescue, Kingston Police and Frontenac Paramedics all attended the scene of an active fire on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve). One male was taken to hospital for possible smoke inhalation. Photo by First Response Media.

A fire on Christmas Eve in Kingston’s downtown core sent one man to hospital, according to Kingston Fire and Rescue.

On Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, Kingston Fire and Rescue along with Frontenac Paramedics and Kingston Police responded to 557 Princess Street at 11:24 p.m. for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, fire crews found thick smoke coming from the upper floor of the vacant building, the former home of Gino’s Pizza.

“There was a rescue performed at the scene of the fire. Crews rescued a male from the second floor by way of ladder access,” stated Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Donaldson.

The rescued male was transported to Kingston General Hospital by Frontenac Paramedics with possible smoke inhalation, but in otherwise stable condition.

The fire was quickly knocked down by fire crews and was contained to the upper level of structure.

Deputy Chief Donaldson said that the older building and its related materials definitely did not help to “suppress the fire,” and that, like any other fire, there are several risks to both civilians and firefighters alike.

“Our firefighters were advised of the possible presence of medical devices inside the structure that could have posed a hazard to their safety and well-being, especially due to the lack of visibility inside the building,” Donaldson said.

The fire department believes that the cause of the blaze was the improper usage and/or lack of supervision of a cooking appliance.

This is not the first time that the location has suffered a fire in the past. Two separate fires have taken place at the location since 2015, with the Christmas Eve fire being the third.

In 2015, Gino’s Pizza (which used to be located at 557 Princess Street) was forced to move after a fire started on the second floor and spread through the walls to the main floor where the restaurant was located.

On June 30 of 2018, another fire broke out inside the vacant structure. No injuries were reported in this incident and the damage was not severe.

Kingston Police media relations officer Cameron Mack stated that at this time there is no evidence of criminal intent, therefore no criminal charges are pending.

Fire crews remained on scene for over four hours working to ensure the fire was completely out and to conduct their investigation. An estimate of the cost of damage has yet to be determined at this time.

Thick smoke was seen coming from the second floor of the vacant downtown building, and fire crews spent four hours on the scene to knock down the fire and complete their investigation. Photo by First Response Media.
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