Sec­ond fire at Queensway Mo­tel

The Mid-North Monitor - - Front Page - BY HE­LEN MOR­LEY

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.

PHOTO BY HE­LEN MOR­LEY/FOR THE MID-NORTH MON­I­TOR

Af­ter­math of the fire at the Queensway Mo­tel.

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