London home devastated by August fire the scene of basement mattress blaze: fire officials

The home at 1053 Oxford St. East had been boarded up and abandoned following a devastating fire in August that caused around $80,000 in damage. London Fire Department via Twitter

An Oxford Street East home heavily damaged by fire three months ago was once again the scene of firefighter activity on Friday, after a blaze was reported in the building’s basement.

Crews were alerted to the scene at 1053 Oxford St. East shortly before 3 p.m. by London police officers who were in the area for an unrelated call, said Platoon Chief Shawn Fitzgerald.

“Crews arrived on scene and found a basement fire,” Fitzgerald said, adding the fire began in a mattress.

Crews initially had trouble finding the fire due to heavy smoke, but managed to locate it and knock it down quickly, he said.

No injuries have been reported.

READ MORE: London firefighters investigate east end blaze

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“The investigator on scene is putting [the cause] down to… carelessly discarded smoking material, maybe a cigarette or a match was carelessly discarded.”

The fire shut down eastbound lanes of Oxford Street through the area during rush hour.

While the cause appears to be accidental, London police are investigating the incident. The home had been abandoned and boarded up since a devastating, early morning fire on Aug. 20 that caused around $80,000 in damage.

“Probably some transients had made entry and were possibly living inside, and that’s where this mattress started on fire,” Fitzgerald said.

The aftermath of the Aug. 20, 2019 fire at 1053 Oxford St. E. Jaclyn Carbone / 980 CFPL

While investigation into the August fire has concluded, a cause has not yet been made public. No injuries were reported in that blaze, which was fully involved when crews arrived.

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“Fire was coming from the front windows of the house,” Fitzgerald said of the earlier fire. “It took some time to extinguish… the fire had travelled throughout the house.”

READ MORE: $400K in damage, no injuries in northeast London house fire (Oct. 31, 2019)

Damage caused by the August blaze made any damage caused by Friday’s mattress fire “negligible,” Fitzgerald said.

“A lot had already been consumed by fire, so there wasn’t a lot of extra damage.”

He said Friday’s incident served as a reminder to the public to be vigilant of vacant properties near their homes.

“We do try to keep these buildings boarded up, to keep transients out. If people have a vacant building in their area that is not boarded up, or has been boarded up but has been breached… they can call the city of London at 519-661-4565.”

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