Report Released on North Perth Fire Service Fatalities

Report Released on North Perth Fire Service Fatalities
Office of the Fire Marshal Fire Investigation Report

November 8, 2011

The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has completed the investigation into the fire that claimed the lives of two North Perth Fire Service members on March 17, 2011.

After a comprehensive fire investigation, the fire that occurred in a commercial building at 245 Main Street West in Listowel has been determined to have been caused by the use of a propane-fuelled torch during roof repairs.

Prior to the fire, workers were repairing a leak in the roof of the building. During the repairs, a fire started in the space between the roof and the suspended ceiling. The fire burned undetected for a substantial amount of time.

When fire crews arrived, there was light smoke observed at the roof line of the building. There were no signs of smoke or fire inside the building. While firefighters were inside the building, attempting to locate and extinguish the fire, conditions changed rapidly and within seconds the roof collapsed. The collapse trapped the two firefighters. Although immediate rescue efforts were made by fire crews, extreme fire and smoke conditions made rescue impossible.

Quotes

“Once again, I wish to express my condolences to the families and friends of Deputy District Chief Ken Rae and firefighter Raymond Walter. The OFM’s investigation highlights that this tragic fire could have been prevented. It also illustrates the unique challenges faced by the fire service when fighting fires in various types of building construction. As a result of our investigation, the OFM will incorporate what we have learned into existing training programs offered at the Ontario Fire College and to fire departments.” -- Ted Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal

Contacts

  • Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416 325-3138