Man Dies in St. Boniface blaze
A deadly fire on Enfield Crescent is raising the alarm on smoke detector safety.
A man who lived in the basement died in the blaze. Fire crews say they heard alarms on the upper floors, but not in the basement.
"There was a smoke detector sounding on individual suites on the first and second floor,” said Allan West of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. “Crews conducted a search of the entire building. That was the only person found in the building."
Firefighters knew when they arrived that a man was trapped inside his apartment. The smoke was so intense, it took them about 20 minutes to get to him.
When they reached him, firefighters found him on the kitchen floor with burns to his back. He was pronounced dead in hospital about an hour later.
A man at the scene says his father, Terry Morgan, was the victim. He's described by the landlord and other tenants as being in his sixties.
Tenants of the apartment building woke up to the smell of smoke early Wednesday morning. Some say they didn't hear their smoke alarms. Others say the alarms only went off for a short time and then stopped.
"My roommate woke me up,” said June Jubinville, who lived on the second floor. “I didn’t hear the fire alarm. He said it only went off like three seconds."
The owner of the apartment building says a hardwired alarm system was in place, and has had recent fire safety inspections done in the building. He says he's worked hard to make his building safe.
“There's a door eight feet from his bed, so if he can't walk eight feet, it doesn't matter how many doors you have. You know he's not going to make it," said building owner Urbain "Charlie" Roy.
The alarm system was tested February 28 by ABC Fire and Safety, and it worked. The company says new fire extinguishers had also been sold to the landlord in March for that house.
ABC Fire and Safety says the home had ionized smoke alarms, a kind known to have issues in the past. In fact, they say if not used in their proper application, the rate of failure for these detectors is quite great.
"Nobody actually wants to put a number down,” said Lyle Menzies of ABC Fire and Safety. “You will see testing has found that you put the wrong smoke detector in the wrong type of fire, it may not go off at all."
CTV was told that the ionized smoke detectors inside the home meet the requirements of the code of the day. ABC Fire and Safety say they aren't necessarily up to today's standards, but they did meet code when they were installed, and it would be too costly for homeowners and landlords to replace them every year to be up to date with the newest technology.
- With a report by Alesia Fieldberg