Oshawa apartment fire leaves several tenants homeless

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Oshawa apartment fire leaves several tenants homeless
WATCH: An overnight fire at a south Oshawa apartment building has left several tenants without a home. As Aaron Streck reports, the fire marshal has been called in to help with the investigation – Mar 18, 2021

An overnight fire at a south Oshawa apartment building has left several tenants without a home.

The destruction from an early morning blaze can be seen at the back end of the building.
Fire crews were called to the complex on Glen Street around 1 a.m.

“Upon arrival they had heavy fire conditions and smoke. You can see by the damage that the fire was very intense,” said Chief Derrick Clark of Oshawa Fire Services.

Clark says firefighters were able to get everyone out of the building, however the extent of the damage has displaced tenants from about 12 units.

“Subsequently, we had two occupants go to the hospital. One was smoke-related and released, and we have another resident that had a medical incident that has been admitted to hospital at this time,” said Clark.

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Those displaced were provided temporary shelter at the South Oshawa Community Centre before being transported to a hotel.

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“Just the smoke that was on the second floor, you couldn’t even see your hand,” said tenant Paul Swain.

Swain has lived in the building for over four years. He lives on the second floor, where damage was the most severe. Officials believe the fire started there.

But swain says he should be able to return to his unit on the opposite end of the building soon.

“I had my housecoat at the foot of the door so no smoke got in, so I was lucky that way and I left my window open to air it out, so I’m probably one of the lucky ones on that floor,” said Swain.

Building owner Corry Van Iersel says he was told “a tenant fell asleep with a lamp on and knocked it over and started their unit on fire.”

Van Iersel, who was at the scene Thursday, says he’s dealing with insurance right now but is looking to see what they can do to help out those displaced.

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“Some of them have water damage, a lot of them have smoke damage, so some of them, they won’t be able to return for quite some time,” said Van Iersel.

The Ontario fire marshal is working with Oshawa Fire Services to determine the cause of the blaze, which investigators say isn’t being considered suspicious at this time. Officials estimate the damage will total more than $1 million.

A GoFundMe campaign has be set up to help those who’ve been displaced secure temporary housing accommodations and provide them with some financial support.

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