Greater Sudbury Fire Service (GSFS) personnel arrived on the scene at 100/102 King St. at 10:24 p.m. on Aug. 13 and discovered a four-unit apartment building with its top floor burning. Wind and radiant heat also burned a hole and caused smoke damage to a neighbouring apartment building at 108 King St on the other side of a 10-foot driveway.
The building where the fire started suffered smoke and fire damage that the GSFS characterized as “severe.”
The fire service told Northern Life that a tenant in the building used the enclosed balcony, which was the access to the building's fire escape, as a sort of porch. Earlier that evening the tenant had using a small barbecue in the plywood-enclosed structure.
GSFS Senior Public Safety Officer Mitch Theriault said it is suspected that the fire began in the balcony. Residents suffered minor injuries including burns and singed hair.
“The event caused a tenant in the lower unit to suffer chest pains,” Theriault said. “He was transported to hospital.”
Because the fire prevented residents from accessing the building's fire escape, the upper floor residents were forced to use the windows to escape the blaze, he said.
The safety message here, Theriault added, is that barbecues and balconies, particularly balconies enclosed in plywood, don't mix.
“A barbecue should be a safe distance from the home,” he said.
It took 17 firefighters and six fire vehicles from three stations to get the fire under control, the GSFS reported.