Weekend triplex fire caused by smoking

Cornwall firefighters look for hot spots after a fire at 806 Montreal Road on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Fire investigators have determined the cause was due to smoking. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A weekend fire at a triplex off Montreal Road was caused by smoking, fire investigators have determined.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Fire Prevention Officer Charlie Gagnon said the cause was accidental “as a result of carelessly discarding of smoking material.”

The fire started at 806 Montreal Road (at the southern end of Carleton Guy Lane) around 1 a.m. Saturday and kept firefighters busy most of the night. The building sustained heavy damage, especially to one corner of the building.

There were reports of an explosion, which Gagnon said was actually something blowing up in the stuff at the northeast corner of the building that had caught fire.

“It’s not an explosion that caused the fire. It was something that was inside the rubbish that was there. There was quite a bit of material there that was being piled and something exploded in there,” Gagnon said.

“We found some smoking material within the area of origin, which was at the northeast corner of the building where the fire occurred. The fire department put a good stop to it,” he added.

With the region experiencing drought conditions, the fire department is asking people to be extra careful with smoking materials outside.

“It’s so dry outside. This is pretty much our number one cause in Cornwall for structure fires. So if people want to be extra careful. It doesn’t take much to start a fire,” Gagnon said.

The building was turned over to the insurance company Saturday afternoon.

Editor’s note: This report refers to the address at 806 Montreal Road. We had earlier reported the address as 806 Carleton Guy Lane. The building has a Montreal Road address but sits at the southern tip of Carleton Guy Lane, between Carleton Street and Guy Street.