Fire code charges laid death of elderly Reeces Corners woman

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Plympton-Wyoming Fire Chief Erik Campbell heads into a home Dec. 29 where a 74 year-old woman died Dec. 27.

Plympton-Wyoming’s fire chief says the fire which killed a 74 year-old Reeces Corners woman was not suspicious.

But three charges have been laid under the Ontario Fire Code in the wake of the Dec. 27 fire.
That day Lambton OPP, Wyoming firefighters and paramedics were called to the home on London Line when an unresponsive person was found in the one-storey house. When emergency responders arrived, it was clear there had been a fire.

A 74 year-old woman was dead although investigators still have not said how she died. The OPP’s Crime Unit and Forensics Identification Services as well as the Ontario Fire Marshal and the coroner investigated for several days but released few details of the probe.

Tuesday, Plympton-Wyoming Fire Chief Erik Campbell told The Independent “We are still working with the OFM however, I will say the fire does not look suspicious. 

“Fire investigation is complex in nature, with a fatality involved it makes it even more complex. With origin and cause, we must rule out every other source of ignition prior to determining a cause,” he said.

And the chief says three charges have been laid under the Ontario Fire Code because of the lack of smoke detectors in the home. 

“The Ontario Fire Code is very clear when it comes to smoke alarms in your home, these must be one on each floor and outside all sleeping areas. The property owner is responsible…landlords are responsible for their tenants having working smoke alarms, ensuring these are maintained and the tenant is given proper instructions,” Campbell tells The Independent.

“The landlord is also required to do inspections to ensure smoke alarms are working,” Campbell says.
“If the landlord finds the tenant has been negligent or has disabled the smoke alarm, they should contact the fire department as soon as possible.”

Campbell says CO alarms “are required to be in every home with a fuel burning appliance.”
The chief says the department has responded to fires where families were able to get out of their homes in time and without injury after hearing the smoke detectors going off.

“We know that these are part of a solid fire and life safety strategy.”
Campbell wouldn’t say who was charged in the Reeces Corners incident or when they will appear in court.

Charges under the Ontario Fire Code generally result in fines, he added.