331 Cumberland Apartment Fire in Cornwall Ontario – Was it started by an errant cigarette? UPDATE – June 22, 2013

photo courtesy of Todd LeBlanc
photo courtesy of Todd LeBlanc

CFN – In the aftermath of a massive fire that has left some people homeless the buzz at street level was whether it was a carelessly tossed cigarette that caused the fire.

Several people were stating that the tenant tossed their cigarette that caught fire on the balcony of their apartment.

In February 2010 the apartment building next to this one also caught on fire  (VIDEO LINK) and was subsequently torn down.   Looks like our downtown section might have a nice replacement condo on the horizon?

The fire spread quickly in spite of work of the Cornwall Fire Department who at one point were attacking the blaze from two points above and on the ground.

Cumb fire C

The blaze spread across the top floor however complicating the fight.

photo courtesy of Todd LeBlanc
photo courtesy of Todd LeBlanc

The Cornwall FD responded with 5 trucks and 20 staff while police blocked off traffic.

Fire Cumb d

We will be updating as more information rolls out.

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  1. Hope Chad got some overtime to pay for his new waterfront mansion. Talking to an Ottawa fireman yesterday it was apparent that even within the brotherhood they feel he stole a job from someone who needed it.

  2. Yes I sure do agree with you Wow that Kilger stole the job from others and I bet that the firefighters are mighty angree. This is grossly unfair.

    Amanda I hope that you are ok. It looks like there may be damage to your unit as well even though you are on the opposite side. People are so mighty negligent with cigarettes, etc. You just don’t toss a cigarette you stump on it and even put water to extinguish it. Now you see why I stick up for landlords.

  3. First of all, Wow & Jules, I agree with you both about Chad… I do take exception with Jules’ comment regarding cigarettes… Stomping it isn’t appropriate either… This is a home, a residence! Use an ashtray, anything else is littering at best!

  4. Kilger stole a job from someone who was better qualified educated and trained which in turn made future Cornwall recruiting a mockery

  5. as someone who stood there for a good 3 – 4 hours taking pictures ( 289 photos in total) i can surely tell u that both sides upstairs are done it was devastating to see this happen but at the same time i sit to wonder if it was indeed a cigarette that caused which i heard from alot of people on the street last night why wasn’t it just put in an ashtray

  6. Chad was off that day, he had a work out with his personal trainer also, the city has property up for sale right next door. I would not be surprised Fitzpatrick was giving orders from behind the scene to let this one burn too.

  7. All you smart mouthed people who have opinions about the fire dept. – I suggest you TRY to do their job one day – have you got the guts and know how to put your life on the line to save a burning building? – have you carried a charred baby’s body from a burning building? – do you have nightmares about what could have happened? – does your family worry about every call you get? – Not likely – And furthermore, have you ever applied and gone through the testing to become a firefighter? – again not likely! These men have once again seen many families’ lives destroyed, and the struggle they (the victims) must endure now to recover.

  8. @granny, just read through those comments then got to yours. i don’t see anything smart mouthy about the skills or stress that fire fighters have. or anything insensitive about victims. if anything there are warnings about being careless with cigarettes and the devastation carelessness can cause.

  9. Whether this fire was caused by carelessness of cigarettes, a person using a barbeque or any other we are referring to Bare Ass getting his son Chad in through the door when he wasn’t really qualified. It is all who you know or who you belong to that gets you in the door. You can have all the education in the world and when someone like Bare Ass squeezes his own son in then it shows that life itself is mighty unfair. There are plenty of people in Cornwall who are more qualified than Chad Kilger and are left in the cold.

    About firefighting I do agree with you there Granny that it is a very dangerous job and like the cops there are many broken homes and firefighting carries illnesses like cancer, etc. These are very hard and dangerous jobs and that is why they are paid the big bucks. As for nightmares yes many go through those things but when you leave the job it must be left there or you would go nuts.

    As for Fitzy that man is not a human being nor is he normal. Nobody with a conscience would say such a thing.

  10. Dear Granny 7 I am not nor have ever been a firefighter. I have though done their job working as a firefighter many times over while in the military. Many times I put my life on the line both on land and at sea. I may have never carried a burnt baby from a fire but have carried dead babies and lots of bodies in other grisly situations. I had the guts to do what was needed for my job and did it so proud. Yes, it sometimes bothers me still today but with friends and family I now have support and control over my nightmares and depressions. Most of the work these guys do is strictly routine, not dangerous, really boring when not in action. Would these guys still be able to handle their job in combat situations and with less pay. If so, then I would call them guys heroes.

  11. I am still asking myself what kind of a nut would go and throw a cigarette out like that on a wooden balcony or any balcony. When living in Cornwall we have seen so many crazy things like throwing garbage bags from an upper floor down instead of using the stairs, throwing mattresses out from the balconies down, etc. That was done in both the pricey areas as well as the lower type of people. One man stated many years ago that Cornwall was Cornwall and it didn’t matter what neighborhood and he was an elderly gentleman then who knew very well what he was talking about since he lived in one of Cornwall’s prime neighborhoods.

    How many people are now homeless because of one nutcase who went and threw out a cigarette. Many things ran in my mind about this and like one poster said above really rang in my head as a possibility.

  12. It’s important to note that the tenanats, good people and their families have become homless due to the fire. What are we doing as a community to help them relocate? This is not about the Mayor’s son getting a fire fighter job, it’s about their tragic loss. I live five doors down from that burnt building, my 12 year daughter rescued a small dog who escaped from the burning building and was wandering up Cumberland street desperately looking for it’s owner. I’m glad to report we found who the dog belong to and our hearts go out to all the families who lost their homes and belongings. We should be asking the City and the Mayor to kick in and help our neighbours. this is not the venue to bring up the Mayor’s son as it is an insult and distracks from the plight of the victims.

  13. I just want to thank ur daughter for grabbing mine and Amandas pride and joy, we couldn’t thank u enough we are sooooo happy they got him out of that building Cuz without him this time we are going through would be ten times harder than it is now.. Thx again

  14. I am outraged at the negative commentary on Chad and how everyone perceives that he was awarded the firefighter job as opposed to being rewarded for having met ALL THE QUALIFICATIONS for the position. It is truly none of any body’s business where he chooses to live and what income he has.. Go blow on someone else for awhile

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