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Fire destroys two homes in Kingston’s west end

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Fire destroys two homes in Kingston’s west end
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze and say damage to the two houses is at least $1.5 million. – Sep 25, 2023

Two homes were destroyed in a west-end Kingston sub-division and several others were damaged after a blaze broke out Monday afternoon.

Fire crews were called to Clover Street, in Woodhaven, a little after 3 p.m.

Fire crews from roughly four stations arrived on Clover Street after receiving multiple 911 calls.

Dale McArthur said she was leaving her daughter’s house around the corner from Clover Street when she saw the black smoke billowing into the sky.

“We walked down here and it was literally smoke and flames coming from these two houses from across the street,” McArthur said.

Jill Lauay and her son Kyle, who live in the neighbourhood as well, walked over to the scene of the blaze. Kyle Lauay watched firefighters extinguish the blaze.

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“When they opened the garage on the second house, the water completely flooded out, along with all the charred wood and stuff like that,” Kyle Lauay said.

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Two homes bracketing the houses at 1513 and 1515 Clover St. had damage to the siding on their walls nearest the fire.

Jill Lauay credits firefighters for preventing the dual house fire from spreading to more homes.

“I felt like the fire department got here really fast and effectively put out those fires,” Jill Lauay said.

According to fire officials, there were two apartments in each house, but no one was injured, despite the intensity of the blaze that consumed the two homes.

“People were home in some of the units. Fortunately, everybody did escape safely,” said Del Blakney, a fire investigator with Kingston Fire and Rescue.

“There is one cat that is not accounted for but we haven’t found it inside the structure,” Blakney said. “We’re thinking it got out an open window.”

Blakney initially expected damage to total at least $1.5 million, but an update Tuesday afternoon estimated damage at $1.22 million.

The cause of the fire is also still under investigation but Blakney said investigators have determined where it broke out.

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“It started on the outside of the house and there was a propane tank in that area,” Blakney said.

“I’m not suggesting it was the propane tank, but the propane tank did vent, which shot flames toward both houses and caught the siding on fire. It went up both sides of both houses and very quickly through the soffits and into the attics.”

Firefighters remained at the scene for several hours after the fire was doused, looking for hot spots.

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