The presence of emergency responders on an otherwise quiet stretch of road in the very northeast end of Kingston has been apparent over the past few days.
Initially, Kingston Fire & Rescue was called to an address on Leo Lake Road, which is located off Highway 15, at approximately 11:35 a.m. on Friday, Jul. 14, 2023. While the local fire department confirmed that they did attend the address in the 5000 block twice in relation to the fire incident, it is unclear if those two calls to the address took place on the same day. Kingston Police confirmed that they, too, attended the address on July 14.
Fire & Rescue directed all further inquiries to Kingston Police.
The following day, at approximately 12:45 p.m., Kingston Fire & Rescue, Kingston Police with the Kingston Police Forensic Unit, and representatives from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall all attended the address. While Kingston Police said they did not attend the Leo Lake Road address on July 15, witnesses saw – and photographed – Kingston Police vehicles on the property. According to witnesses, at least two Kingston Police vehicles, including the Forensic Identification Unit, were on scene on Saturday.
For their part, Kingston Police did say they attended Leo Lake Road on Sunday, Jul. 16, 2023. The police presence was in relation to an unrelated call, according to Const. Anthony Colangeli, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police.
“I can say it is an ongoing investigation between Kingston Police and the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office,” Colangeli said of the fire incident on Leo Lake Road.
The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal confirmed the ongoing investigation.
“I can confirm that the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) was called in to investigate the cause, origin, and circumstance of the fire that occurred at 5088 Leo Lake Road in Kingston. Fire investigators have concluded the scene examination however the investigation remains ongoing at this time,” said Sean Driscoll, Public Relations Officer for the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.
The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal is called in to investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of any fire, explosion, or condition that, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal, could have caused either:
- Loss of life
- Damage to property
According to the OFM, their agency investigates approximately 600 fires annually, “representing 80 to 100 deaths, and fires where firefighters are injured or killed while they were executing their duties.”
According to the Office, the OFM currently investigates:
- fires resulting in either a fatality or serious injury requiring person(s) to be admitted as in-patient(s) to a hospital
- explosions, where the explosion is the primary event
- all fires in vulnerable occupancies such as retirement homes, care and treatment occupancies and care occupancies, as defined in the Fire Code
- fires suspected of being deliberately started in an area or circumstances where there should not be a fire, and for which expert investigative assistance is required to determine the cause, origin or circumstance
- large loss fires of $500,000 and over, or where the loss is significant to the community
- fires of unusual origin or circumstances and where expert investigative assistance is required to determine the cause
- fires resulting in unusual fire/smoke spread
- fires involving circumstances that may result in widespread public concern (environmental)
- fires in multi-unit residential occupancies where fire spread is beyond the unit of origin, or where suspected Fire Code violations have impacted on the circumstances of the event
- fires involving clandestine drug operations or marijuana grow operations
- provincial interest fires that are identified and defined by the OFM