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Several Serious Guelph House Fires in Last 24 Hours

In his more than 29 years with the fire department, Deputy Fire Chief Steven Goode has never encountered a situation quite like the recent series of devastating fires in Guelph, including one that tragically took the lives of two women. Urging the community to ensure the presence of functioning smoke alarms and to establish escape plans, Goode’s call to action comes in the wake of three significant fires within a 24-hour span.

The incidents occurred at 365 West Acres Dr. on Monday night and at 57 Kirkland St., close to Exhibition Park, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The West Acres fire was reported just before 7 p.m., revealing damage throughout the garage and second floor. Fortunately, the two occupants at the time detected the fire early and were able to evacuate without injury. A fire crew remained on the scene into Tuesday afternoon.

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The fire on Kirkland Street was reported at 12:53 a.m. Tuesday, resulting in the tragic loss of two dogs and several cats, while the sole occupant suffered burns and smoke inhalation and is currently being treated in a Hamilton hospital. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office has been called to investigate due to the severity of the injuries.

The causes of both fires are under investigation, yet it has been confirmed that both homes had working smoke alarms. According to Guelph Police spokesperson Scott Tracey, neither incident is considered suspicious.

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These fires follow a deadly blaze at 383 Edinburgh Rd. S. early Monday, which is still under investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office regarding its cause and the extent of the damage. That fire claimed the lives of two women, while two others escaped and received hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. It remains unclear whether the Edinburgh home had operational smoke alarms.

Highlighting the unprecedented nature of these three significant fires occurring so closely together, Goode emphasizes the critical importance of fire safety, the presence of smoke alarms for early fire detection, and the necessity of having a pre-established fire safety plan. He warns against the danger of planning only in the moment of crisis, stressing that every second counts in a fire emergency and lack of preparation can have severe consequences.

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