Second fire at Queensway Motel
The Espanola Fire Department was called out for the second time in five weeks to a massive fire at the Queensway Motel, located at the corner of Queensway Avenue and Highway 6. They were on the scene at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 until at least 8 a.m., a total of five and a half hours.
Espanola Fire Chief Mike Pichor says it is a quite unusual to be called out to a second fire at the same location, especially within such a short span of time.
However, it must be taken into account that it is an older building, with the original wiring. He estimates that the motel is at least 50 years old.
The first fire, on July 30, originated in the residential area and that cause was determined to be an electrical cord. Like that fire, this one also originated in that location, specifically the main kitchen area. The rental units were untouched by the blaze.
Pichor praised his crew, saying, “They knocked the fire down quickly.”
The Fire Marshall’s Office was contacted immediately and an investigator was sent out. While many people think the fire marshal gets directly involved, Pichor explained that it would need to be an exceptional fire before that would occur.
“There is only one fire marshal for all of Ontario.”
He went on to say that the office employs a dozen or so investigators. The investigator for the Sudbury area was busy in Sault Ste. Marie so one from Orillia was brought in. His on-site investigation covered a two-day period, but Pichor estimates it can take anywhere from a month to five years to resolve the investigation.
“It depends on what they find out.”
At this time, the Espanola Police Service is conducting a joint investigation with the Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of the blaze.
What is known is the damage is extensive and will definitely exceed $100,000. While this fire is being treated differently from some of the others that occurred this summer, Pichor could not say if it was suspicious in nature. That has yet to be determined.
Aftermath of the fire at the Queensway Motel.