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'Lengthy' investigation expected for Orillia apartment fire

'It will take some time ... to determine the cause and to provide us with that information,' says Orillia OPP official; tenants still out of building in wake of Sunday blaze

Tenants of a Coldwater Road apartment building remain unable to return to their home in the wake of a fatal fire that occurred Sunday evening.

The Orillia OPP crime unit and an investigator from Ontario Fire Marshal office are still trying to determine the cause of the apartment building fire that killed a 67-year-old woman.

The woman was the lone tenant of a fourth-floor apartment unit where the fire began. She was rescued from the smoke-filled hall outside her unit and taken to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. 

Orillia OPP Const. Brett Boniface says he expects the investigation to be "lengthy." 

"It will take some time for the Fire Marshall to determine the cause and to provide us with that information," he said.

Boniface says the cause of death of the local woman is undetermined.

"The crime unit, forensics, and the coroner will all work together to determine what the cause might be and to complete a thorough investigation into the incident itself to determine what happened," he told OrilliaMatters.

Chris Ferry, the Orillia Fire Department's deputy chief, says the Ontario Fire Marshal's office does not suspect any suspicious activity. While the probe continues, they have turned over the building back to its owners.

"After the investigation, we had our firefighters go through the building with our air monitoring devices," he said. "We made sure there was no carbon monoxide or gases in the building and everything was clear. We had zero readings."

While firefighters cleared the apartments, Ferry says there is still some clean-up to be done. Only the unit where the fire occurred is currently inhabitable.

"There was some water in the hallways," he said. "They would have a restoration company come in to do a cleaning. That would be up to the building owners and superintendents to have that looked after."

Janet Chamberlain, the chief operating officer for Destaron Residential Inc., which owns the property at 21 Coldwater Rd., declined to comment for this article and would not provide any information as to when tenants of the 28-unit building might be allowed to return to their home. 


Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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