Two injured in Montreal Road apartment fire

The back porch of a six-plex on Montreal Road is charred after an early morning fire on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Two people were injured in the fire. They jumped from the window to a cube van (yellow, right) to escape the flames. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – At least two people are injured after an early morning fire in a six-plex on Montreal Road.

The fire started around 4:25 a.m. at 802 Montreal Road (next to the car wash near the Guy Street intersection).

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Cornwall Fire Services Platoon Chief Jody Dewar says the back of the building was fully involved when they arrived.

“People were still inside the residence in some places. Six people were still inside. Two, for sure, came out a window and landed on a truck next door,” Dewar said.

Two people were taken by Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services to the Cornwall Community Hospital for treatment.

Four other people managed to get out of the building but Dewar said the situation became problematic because some were trying to go back inside, presumably to rescue valuables or pets.

“We managed to get water on the fire quickly so were able to knock it down and then we had to chase it for a while,” he said. Dewar added that they were lucky the flames didn’t get into the attic. It took a little over an hour to get the fire under control.

Captain Bryan Ward added that the building is early 1900s construction while the porches and storage areas were all wood. Ward said one unit had heavy fire damage while the other five had smoke and water damage.

Fire trucks are parked outside a six-plex at 802 Montreal Road in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Two people were injured after an early morning fire. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

As for pets, firefighters managed to rescue three cats from the building but one perished in the flames. Platoon Chief Dewar believes there were more animals that either ran from the scene or ran back into the burning building.

In his interview, Dewar also stressed the message of having working smoke alarms. It still has to be confirmed in the investigation, but they believe there were some units in the six-plex that didn’t have working detectors.

“A lot of people weren’t awakened by smoke alarms. It was by people knocking on windows to get them out,” he said.

Initially 11 firefighters and four trucks were on the scene but additional manpower – another nine firefighters – had to be called in.

The fire prevention office is investigating the origin and cause of the fire, though officials have an idea of what happened.

With all hands on deck for Cornwall firefighters, South Glengarry took a call for Cornwall through mutual aid around 5 a.m. at Morbern on Boundary Road. It turned out to be a trouble alarm for a fire pump in the building.

City firefighters had their hands full over the past 24 hours, with two other fire calls – a woman was burned and had to go to hospital after a couch fire on Carleton Street caused by smoking. There was also an oven fire on Montreal Road.