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Point Douglas community handing out flyers to prevent rooming house fires

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Point Douglas community handing out flyers to prevent rooming house fires – Sep 15, 2016

WINNIPEG — Members of the Point Douglas community have been shaken by tragedy and are now taking matters into their own hands. They are determined to put a stop to rooming house fires that have claimed six lives so far.

Sel Burrows, community representative, said he will be joined by other residents to hand out flyers to every rooming house that ask the residents to do their own safety checks.

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“It’s going to make a huge difference in the quality of life for the people who live in rooming houses,” Burrows said.

Burrows said many of the vulnerable residents are too nervous to call the city or 911 when there are safety concerns at their home. He’s hoping that this checklist will help the community look out for each other.

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Brian Ohrling says he’s lived in dozens of rooming houses and has been caught in two fires.

“The second one was really bad it burned the third floor right out,” Ohrling said.

Currently, annual safety inspections are not required at rooming houses, but that’s something the Winnipeg fire chief says is in the process of changing.

“It’s likely to happen if we get the required support,” Fire chief John Lane said. “Again, it’s a matter of something like that requires people.”

Many of the flyers have already been distributed, volunteers will be handing them out this month.

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