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Lisgar Avenue apartment fire displaces residents

Posted on Tuesday March 08, 2022

An early morning apartment fire has displaced residents of an apartment building located at 195 Lisgar Avenue.

Tillsonburg Fire and Rescue Services were notified of the fire by an alarm company, and arrived on scene shortly after 7:00 a.m. to find a fourth floor apartment fully involved. Firefighters from Norfolk County Station 6 (Courtland) and Southwest Oxford Station 1 (Brownsville) and Station 2 (Mount Elgin) were dispatched to assist.

“When crews arrived, residents were sheltering on balconies with smoke and flames visible,” said Fire Chief Shane Caskanette. “Firefighters had to rescue about 18 residents from their units via ladder.”

The Tillsonburg Community Centre was activated as a reception centre for displaced residents, with transportation assistance provided by T:GO and local taxi companies.

“Two residents were transported to Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation and several others were assessed on scene. There were no serious injuries and all residents have been accounted for,” said Ryan Hall, Manager/Deputy Chief of Oxford County Paramedic Services.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“There is significant water damage to units on the lower floors, and smoke damage throughout the building,” said Chief Caskanette. “We have conducted a preliminary walk through and will be allowing some residents into the building to retrieve medication, eye glasses and other essentials, but residents will likely be out of their units for the next several weeks.”

While most residents will find temporary accommodation with family and friends, the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Oxford County Human Services are prepared to assist where necessary.

The Town’s Emergency Control Group was also activated.

Deputy Mayor Dave Beres expressed Council’s thanks to fire communications staff, emergency services personnel, Oxford OPP, Oxford County paramedics and all other agencies who assisted in the response.

“Apartment fires are always challenging given the number of people involved, but everyone pulled together today in an efficient and effective response,” said Beres. “Town staff did a great job running the reception centre, and the communication between community agencies was outstanding.”  

 The last high rise apartment fire in Tillsonburg occurred on April 18, 2021.

“These incidents should remind all of us that emergencies can happen at any time,” says Vanessa Devolin, Assistant Chief of Communications and Administration. “Fires do happen. It’s important to have a working smoke alarm, practice your escape route and ensure everyone in your household knows what to do in the event of an emergency.”