Space heater leads to over $100k in fire damages at Kingston apartment building

Smoke billows from the window of an apartment on John Counter Boulevard where a fire broke out on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, causing extensive damages and the evacuation of multiple residents. Photo by Kingstonist.

Multiple Kingston residents remain displaced after a fire broke out at an apartment building in the Rideau Heights neighbourhood, causing extensive damages to multiple units.

Just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, multiple Kingston residents placed 911 calls reporting that flames could be seen at the apartment building located at 722 John Counter Boulevard, near its intersection with Montreal Street.

“On arrival, crews were met with heavy smoke and heat from an apartment. When fire crews entered the building, they were confronted with heavy smoke,” Kingston Fire and Rescue reported on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Kingston Fire and Rescue firefighters played an integral role in ensuring the safe evacuation of a number of residents within the building.

“The tenant [of the unit where the fire broke out] was confirmed to be outside, and so our crews made the attack from the outside first,” Kingston Fire and Rescue Station 4 Platoon Chief Mike Kylie reported while on the scene Saturday night.

“Once the crews coordinated that attack, they… [were] able to get to the fire from the inside,” Kylie continued, noting that firefighters were then able to move into the building to extinguish the fire, and then move throughout the building to ensure that all residents of the adjacent units had been evacuated.

“We’re happy to report that everybody’s out, everybody is safe.”

Frontenac Paramedic Services, who also arrived on scene immediately following the 911 calls, worked with Kingston Fire and Rescue to assess and treat any residents affected by smoke inhalation. While Kingston Health Sciences Centre prepared its Kingston General Hospital site with a Code Orange standby – a Code Orange refers to the classification of the procedures and processes followed at hospitals in cases of nearby disasters, mass emergency situations, or mass casualties – that Code Orange was never activated as, luckily, the vast majority of those affected only required treatment by paramedics at the scene.

The building was then ventilated as firefighters continued to sweep the building, ensuring any hot spots were extinguished to prevent reignition of the fire. According to Kingston Fire and Rescue, crews remained on scene for approximately three hours.

The local fire department reported that damages to the building are estimated at approximately $100,000, while approximately $10,000 of the building’s contents were damaged or destroyed.

Firefighters with Kingston Fire and Rescue stand outside the apartment building at 722 John Counter Boulevard after the fire had been put out. Photo by Kingstonist.

“The fire is not considered suspicious in nature,” Kingston Fire and Rescue said in an email to Kingstonist, confirming that a space heater was found to be the cause of the incident.

“Kingston Fire and Rescue reminds residents to maintain three feet (or one metre) of clearance from a space heater to all combustible materials. We also encourage apartment and condo owners to ensure that unit doors close and latch when released from the open position in order to contain a fire.”

Kingston Fire and Rescue were unable to share the total number of residents displaced by the fire, but noted that the building owner assisted those displaced at the time.

Kingstonist will provide updated coverage on this situation, including the number of people displaced by the fire and any relative fundraising/support efforts for those impacted, if/when more information becomes available.

One thought on “Space heater leads to over $100k in fire damages at Kingston apartment building

  • Was it an electric space heater? Radiant / convection ?

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