April 26, 2018 2:31 pm
Updated: April 26, 2018 2:33 pm

Careless smoking, illegal cigarettes linked to recent string of London fires

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Matthew Trevithick/980 CFPL
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London firefighters are reminding the public of the dangers of careless smoking and the need for working smoke alarms after a string of blazes, including one that left a London man with extensive third-degree burns.

READ MORE: Elderly woman dies of injuries suffered in fire sparked by careless smoking


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Firefighters were called to a multi-unit building on Princess Avenue just east of Waterloo Street early Monday morning to find the upper floor consumed by flames. An unidentified man who was the tenant of the upper floor was taken to hospital where he remains in critical condition but is expected to survive.

The investigation has revealed the fire started as a result of careless smoking and that the cigarettes involved were contraband. The dwelling also lacked working smoke alarms on every storey. Officials confirmed to 980 CFPL that damage is pegged at $100,000.

In another incident last week on Proudfoot Lane, north of the train tracks in the area of Beaverbrook Avenue and Riverside Drive, firefighters were called to a fire on a balcony of a high-rise building. Investigators determined the careless discarding of an illegal cigarette caused combustible materials on the balcony to catch fire. The blaze spread to the inside of the unit and caused $20,000 in damage. No one was injured.

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More recently, firefighters were called to a fire at a home on St. Julien Street south of Hamilton Road on Thursday morning that was also the result of careless smoking of contraband cigarettes.

In that case, the damage is pegged at $100,000 and one person was treated and released from hospital.

“Despite consistent warnings about careless smoking and the added danger posed by illegal cigarettes, the fire service is disturbed that so many people are not getting the message,” said acting deputy chief Jack Burt.

According to firefighters, four of the last five fire fatalities in the city were in blazes sparked by the careless smoking of contraband cigarettes.

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