Kingston man charged with arson after apartment building fire

A firefighter with Kingston Fire and Rescue douses the edge of a window and eaves of the roof at a Division Street apartment building where a fire broke out on Monday, Mar. 22, 2021. Photo by Daniel Tastard-Homer.

A local man has been arrested and charged in connection with a fire at Treeview Apartments, located at 780 Division Street on the edge of the Kingscourt District.

According to Kingston Fire and Rescue, firefighters responded to a call at the address at approximately 1:18 p.m. Fire crews were able to quickly locate the source of the fire and extinguish the blaze. Firefighters also evacuated the building, however, one resident was rescued from their apartment balcony.

As dozens of Kingston Fire and Rescue trucks, Kingston Police cruisers, and Frontenac Paramedic Services ambulances filled the area, the evacuated individuals were talked to and assessed by emergency workers. Five individuals were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, as a precaution, Kingston Fire and Rescue said.

According to Kingston Police, the fire and ensuing situation were no accident.

“There are grounds to believe a 24-year-old local man deliberately set a fire originating on the third floor. He was arrested on scene and brought to hospital for physical assessment,” said Sgt. Steve Koopman of Kingston Police.

Koopman explained that, after the individual is medically cleared, he will be taken to the cells at Kingston Police Headquarters to later attend a bail hearing relating to arson-related charges.

There are currently no known injuries from the fire. An additional five Kingston Police officers were also assessed for smoke inhalation, but appear to be fine, Koopman said.

In addition to Kingston Police detectives investigating the matter, the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) has been called in and will be attending to further investigate. Investigators from the OFM are expected to arrive on Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021, and Kingston Fire and Rescue will hold the scene until then.

Kingston Fire and Rescue confirmed one tenant from the apartment building has been displaced as a result. That resident’s apartment was directly below the one where the fire broke out, and is the subject of water damages. Accommodations have been made for that resident, Kingston Fire and Rescue said.

The estimated cost of damages to the building is unknown at this time. Kingstonist will update this article as more information becomes available.

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