Fire chief calls for mandatory sprinklers after Toronto blaze kills three
CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, December 22, 2007
TORONTO - The head of Toronto Fire Services is calling for the compulsory installation of sprinklers in new residential properties after a woman and two young boys died in an early-morning blaze Saturday.
"It is time that the province enact legislation to make sprinklers mandatory in residential construction," Toronto Fire Services Chief William Stewart said at the fire scene.
"Too many people have died needlessly, when sprinklers would have saved them."
The fire department confirmed the deaths of a woman and two children, ages three and eight.
"It was a very, very hot fire. One of the deputy chiefs made the comment that there wasn't an inch of the house that didn't feel the effects of the fire," added fire department spokesman Stephan Powell.
Three other young residents of the north Toronto townhouse were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
"A 16-, 12- and five-year-old are in hospital. The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening," said Toronto police Staff Sgt. Courtney Chambers.
Police are unable to confirm whether the victims were related.
A neighbour called 911 at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning. When the fire department arrived at the scene, heavy smoke was coming from the windows.
"It's a townhouse complex and the house was fully engulfed when police and fire services arrived," said Chambers.
The fire department confirmed that the house was fitted with smoke alarms but could not say whether they had been functioning properly.
"The intensity of the fire had burnt the smoke detectors out by the time the fire department arrived on the scene," said Powell.
Jim Fischer, a spokesman from the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office, told reports that "if you do nothing else today, check your smoke alarm to make sure it's working."
The fire is thought to have started on the first floor of the property but the fire marshal was at the property on Saturday and the investigation into the exact cause of the blaze was ongoing.
© CanWest News Service 2007
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12-22-2007, 06:54 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
Fire chief calls for mandatory sprinklers after Toronto blaze kills threeSeptember 11th - Never Forget
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
RAY WAS HERE FIRST
12-22-2007, 07:16 PM #2
It was bound to happen some where. I am sure this will start happening all over the world, sprinkler systems in residential houses.Hello. Fire dept.. You light'em, We fight'em!
"hard working, gear jamming, nail driving, "jake". "
4-16-2010 "On the approach"
12-22-2007, 07:27 PM #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- A small town in Tennessee
It's already happening here...for some reason, the developers are refusing to put plugs in, so the county commission is mandating sprinklers. Not sure how I like it, but oh well. I'm just a firefighter..my opinion never matters. :\Put THAT in your pump and flow it.
Proud member IACOJ
12-22-2007, 07:28 PM #4
It would be in the 2009 edition of the ICC codes for one- & two- families, too, if the home builders hadn't lobbied so aggressively against it last spring in Rochester. The majority of votes from the floor were in favor of requiring residential sprinklers but fell short of the super-majority (2/3rds)needed for it to pass.
Unfortunately, we in the fire service have nobody to blame but ourselves. We're horribly underrepresented in the codemaking process not because we can't but because we don't bother..."Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.
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