March 17, 2015 - A Victoria Avenue property owner has been charged for failing to install smoke alarms as required by the Ontario Fire Code after Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to a structural fire at the residence on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control after rescuing a female occupant who had reentered the burning structure. The cause of the fire was unattended cooking which caused extensive damage to the kitchen. During the fire investigation, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue investigators discovered there were no working smoke alarms in the residence.

"Thunder Bay Fire Rescue has zero tolerance towards Fire Code infractions," said Deputy Fire Chief Greg Hankkio. "Failure to comply could result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations."

Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential structural fires. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue reminds everyone to keep the area around your stove free from clutter and to never leave cooking unattended.

"'Look while you cook' and "˜get out stay out' are two important fire safety messages we use in our educational programs which both applied here," said Deputy Fire Chief Greg Hankkio. "A cooking fire can start in a matter of seconds so you should never leave the kitchen while cooking and once safely out of a burning building, you should call 911 and wait for firefighters to arrive."

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue reminds residents that it is the law to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon Monoxide alarms are also now required by law to be installed outside any sleeping areas.

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Contact:  Anthony Stokaluk, Public Education Officer - Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, 625-2802 (office), 631-7033(cell) or