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‘Unattended cooking’ cause of Algonquin fire

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Captain Randy Vezina of the fire prevention and life safety division of the North Bay Fire and Emergency Services says that a fire at a residence on Algonquin Avenue that claimed one life last week could have been avoided.

Vezina says that the Fire Marshal’s Office has come to an unusually speedy determination of “unattended cooking,” as the cause of the blaze due to abundant evidence. The official report has yet to be filed. The fire originated on the second floor of the rooming house.

Vezina says that unattended cooking, smoking, and electrical distribution are the top-three causes of residential fires such as this one.

The man who perished in the fire has not been identified and the body is in Toronto undergoing a post-mortem.

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Meanwhile, the other tenants from the building have been left homeless and are receiving aid from victim services. Damage to the residence is estimated at $200,000.

Vezina warns that using a cooking vessel as a deep fryer on an electric stovetop is far more hazardous than people realize. He says that temperatures can reach as high as 1400 degrees (F) if cooking oil is turned on to the highest setting on a stove. Left unattended, vapours from the oil can auto-ignite, says Vezina, leading to severe fire hazards.

Vezina suggests purchasing a deep fryer instead of cooking with that method. CSA approved deep fryers have come down in price considerably in recent years and are much safer as compared to makeshift deep fryers.

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