120 residents evacuated after fire in Sarnia, Ont. retirement home

On Sunday, shortly after 11 p.m., fire crews were called to a structure fire at Fairwinds Lodge retirement residence at 1218 Michigan Avenue in Sarnia, Ont. via Sarnia Fire Rescue / Twitter

Police say all residents are safe and accounted for after a fire broke out in a retirement home in Sarnia, Ont.

The fire at Fairwinds Lodge retirement residence, 1218 Michigan Ave., was reported Sunday shortly after 11 p.m.

According to investigators, the fire broke out in the building’s north wing, resulting in a room-by-room search and the evacuation of all 120 residents from the 113-unit facility.

Sarnia fire officials said all stations were mobilized and the Port Huron, Point Edward and St. Clair Township fire departments provided additional support. Roughly 75 firefighters battled the blaze until it was largely under control by 1:30 a.m. Monday.

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Sarnia Transit buses were used to assist in transporting residents of the home to temporary shelters. As of 2 a.m., police said about half of the residents had been relocated with family, and 61 were in temporary housing at Lambton College.

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Temporary housing shelter set up at Lambton College in Sarnia, Ont., after 120 residents of Fairwinds Lodge retirement residence were forced to evacuate due to a structure fire on Sunday, Jan. 15. via Sarnia Police Service

All residents should be relocated with family or have alternative housing by noon Monday, police said.

“I would like to thank our cross-border partners with the Port Huron Fire Department, neighbouring fire services, EMS, Police, Sarnia Transit, and Lambton College for their quick response and assistance in ensuring all residents were evacuated, accounted for, and sheltered safely,” wrote Sarnia fire chief Bryan Van Gaver in a statement.

Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal will investigate.

Michigan Avenue, from Murphy Road to Blu Aire Gate, will likely remain closed to traffic into Monday afternoon, according to police.

Individuals concerned with family members housed at Fairwinds Lodge can call the facility’s management company, Sienna Senior Living, at 1-866-959-4848.

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