Numbers confirm Cornwall’s fiery reputation

In this October 2014, file photo, firefighters battle a fire in a building on Alice Street. A report to the city's budget committee shows the city has the most fires per capita compared with 17 other Ontario municipalities with similar sized populations. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – For those that believe Cornwall has a lot of structure fires, a report to the city’s budget committee Thursday backs up those beliefs.

The report from Fire Chief Pierre Voisine shows Cornwall has the most fires per 10,000 population compared to 17 other Ontario municipalities with populations between 40,000 and 65,000.

Cornwall has 30 “loss fires” per 10,000 residents. Next on the list is the City of Welland with 23 and the City of North Bay with 19.

Based on a five year average, Cornwall has 51 structure fires a year and responds to 1,283 calls.

While there are many fires, they have not been as costly as other municipalities. The five year average loss for Cornwall is $3.3 million per year. Haldimand County and the City of Timmins have had fewer fires but average loss approaches $10 million.

The data was provided to the Cornwall Fire Department by the Ontario Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Ontario.

Chief Voisine is likely to answer questions of the budget committee on the report when it meets Thursday (Jan. 25) at 9 a.m. at city hall.