Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Updated 7:30 a.m., June 19)
Avalon fire causes $1.3M damage, destroys four homes

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Twenty people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through a row of townhouses on Melette Crescent in Avalon on Saturday.

Fire crews responded to the multi-alarm blaze at about 4 p.m. Eye witnesses say the fire started at the rear of one of the row houses indicating that it was possibly barbecue related. By the time the first firefighters arrived, high winds had spread the flames to the two adjoining units.

This is the rear view of the four row houses on Melette Crescent that were destroyed by fire on Saturday. Photo corset of Scott Stilborn

"From my vantage point, it looked like it started from outside and basically just ran up the back of the house and came in through the windows," neighbour Brad Metz told the Ottawa Citizen. "“Within about 10 minutes, it spread into the two adjacent units. So it looks like the units at the end are all just charred all the way through."

In a statement released to the media, Ottawa Fire Services district chief Glen McNeil commended the fire crews for limiting the damage to six units in total, the four that were gutted and two that were partially damaged.

“Our fire department was called about a house fire and crews arrived to find the second unit heavily involved in fire on the rear of the structure, and it’s so hot and humid and there was a pretty good breeze coming this way, and in those houses fire is easily propagated from one house to the next,” said McNeil. “The crews did a fantastic job under a high heat condition to limit the damage to what it is."

Remarkably there was only two reported medical emergency related to the blaze. One person had to be treated for smoke inhalation and a firefighter was treated for a cut to his hand.

Smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as Hwy. 174. As firefighters battled the blaze well over 100 people gathered to watch the action. Among them were a number of residents who live on the street and couldn't believe that such an idyllic day had been turned into a nightmare for so many of their neighbours.

“My next-door neighbour just had a baby His house is done so he was freaking out pretty bad," said Emmanuel Briere, whose own house in the six unit row received minor damage to its roof and some water damage to the interior.

Many of the families displaced by the blaze will find temporary shelter with friends and family Those that have insurance will have the option of staying in a hotel or a short-term rental unit until their homes are rebuilt.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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