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Electrical fire leaves 10 people homeless

Tenants escape High Street four-plex fire uninjured
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2018-05-16 High Street fire
A fire Tuesday at 520 High St. has displaced 10 people. Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters

Electrical problems are believed to be the cause of a fire that displaced 10 people Tuesday afternoon.

Orillia firefighters responded to the four-plex at 520 High St. at about 4 p.m.

“We were met with a room on the second floor that was fully involved,” Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Kirk said.

Four people were in the building when the fire broke out. Two people were in the apartment where the fire originated, Kirk said, adding the other tenants were at work. The fire started in a bedroom at the back of the building.

No one was injured, but all of the residents were left to find other living arrangements until it is deemed safe for them to return.

Samples from the scene were sent for testing, but “we’re confident that it was electrical,” Kirk said.

The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.

Kirk provided some tips for how to help prevent electrical fires: Use a power bar with a built-in breaker, avoid using “octopus” plugs — devices that allow multiple cords to be plugged in — and use extension cords sparingly.

“Extension cords are not meant for permanent wiring,” he noted, but rather for quick jobs.

It is not known when the tenants will be allowed back into the building.




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