Fire in townhouse leaves three Kitchener families displaced

Written by Javed Iqbal

At least three families have been displaced after a house fire in Kitchener on Friday night, Kitchener Fire Department said.

Caroline Montano said it was around 8pm when she heard a large knock on her front door on Donnenwerth Drive. Someone came to warn her about the fire in the home connected to hers in the townhouse complex.

“Our neighbor’s house was on fire from the top, so we just had to quickly evacuate with my son and my husband,” Montano said. “We’re just trying to figure out where we’re going to live at the moment. The house is pretty much permeated by the smell of smoke at the moment, so it’s not safe for our son to stay there and stuff like that.”

According to Andy O’Reilly, a division manager at Kitchener Fire Department, several homes were affected by the fire and at least three families have been displaced.

“Two units were severely affected by the fire in the roof area. A third unit has moderate damage and the other two have only minor smoke damage right now,” O’Reilly said Friday.

According to O’Reilly, 33 firefighters responded to the incident to allow crews to rotate through while fighting the fire.

He said firefighters reached for heavy smoke from the house.

“There was heavy fire in the back that stretched up the siding into the roof area, with heavy fire venting out through the roof of 79,” O’Reilly said. “Most of the damage is to the third floor and attic areas and the roof areas of the two main units and siding on the rear of three units. Right now the cause is under investigation and we are coordinating with the fire department’s office.”

Kolton Simpson filmed some of the incidents on Friday. He said he was sitting for dinner when he saw a couple of fire trucks driving down the road and noticed the smoke coming from a nearby home.

“I ran outside on my bare feet and ran down the street and started taking videos and pictures,” Simpson said. “At first there was a lot of smoke, then suddenly it burst into flames.”

Simpson said about 200 neighbors came out of their homes to watch the riot.

“It was pretty wild, you could feel the heat, the adrenaline. It was pretty wild,” Simpson said.

Firefighters were back at the scene Saturday. In the evening, it sounded like the home had started smoking again.

Local investigators are working with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office while investigating what may have triggered the fire.

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Javed Iqbal

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