‘Painstaking inspection’ set to begin at site of apartment fire in Bradford
Bradford West Gwillimbury, ON (March 24, 2021) – Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire and Emergency Services (BWGFES) and the South Simcoe Police Service (SSPS) continue to work with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) on the scene of an apartment fire at 114 Holland St. W. The entire building was evacuated following an extremely intense fire that broke out in a fifth-floor apartment on March 22 at around 2 p.m.
A structural engineer has inspected the building and put together a detailed plan for shoring up the structure between the fifth and sixth floors so that it is safe for OFMEM to conduct their investigation. It is anticipated that the investigation will commence Thursday and take a few days to complete.
“We have assembled a very experienced team that over the next few days are going to do a painstaking examination of the unit where the fire began and look at the circumstances surrounding the fire,” said Larry Brassard, Operations Manager with OFMEM. “This was a very serious fire resulting in some serious injuries so we are going to do everything we can to make sure this investigation is thorough and complete.”
Following that work, the building will be turned back over to the property owner, and then their insurance company will do their own inspection and begin restoration of the property.
“It’s impossible to accurately say how long this process is going to take, but I would estimate that it will be approximately two weeks before residents of the less-affected units will be able to work with the building owner’s insurance company to briefly re-visit their apartments,” said BWG Fire Chief Jim Kay. “I expect the insurance company will make appointments with those individuals to re-enter the property to access their belongings and to start making plans to move back in.”
“Obviously some areas of the building were more severely damaged by fire, smoke and/or water and will take longer to be restored, and to be safe to enter and eventually move back to.”
Meanwhile the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, County of Simcoe and Red Cross are working together to provide support to the tenants, including helping to provide accommodations for whatever period of time they are out of their homes. With assistance from local community organizations, plans are also in the works to assist tenants once they are able to return to their homes and evaluate their longer-term needs.
Any residents of the building with questions or needing support of any kind can get information through the Town of BWG at 905-775-5366 ext. 0
“Chief Kay and his staff at BWG Fire, as well as the South Simcoe Police, have been outstanding in their support of the investigation and I have to give a shout out to them for their professionalism and their diligence in this case,” said Brossard. “It’s really a model for other public service agencies to follow. Kudos to all of the first responders here for what they’ve done and are continuing to do.”