Fire forces evacuation of seniors’ building in Walkerton

WALKERTON – There were no injuries reported in a fire at 401 Cayley St. the night of Wednesday, Jan. 12 into Thursday morning.

The building is located next to Sacred Heart Church.

Fire Chief Chris Wells said the fire in the seniors’ residential apartment building was reported at about 11:40 p.m.

The fire was in the common room on the second floor. The only visible damage to the building could be seen on the second floor, far west side, where there were broken windows and discolouration from smoke.

Although no residential units were damaged, firefighters had to rescue several tenants trapped by smoke.

The Walkerton Fire Department called in Mildmay (water supply) and Elmwood (manpower). Crews remained at the scene until approximately 4 a.m.

Emergency personnel discuss the situation outside on Thursday morning, Jan. 13. (Pauline Kerr photo)

A press release from Bruce County stated this building is operated by Bruce County Housing Corporation.

All 44 units in the building were evacuated. Sacred Heart Parish provided temporary shelter from the cold for those at the scene. Tenants who did not have alternative housing were taken to the Best Western Plus Hotel in Walkerton, where they remained until the fire alarm system in the apartment building could be repaired.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office conducted an investigation.

Staff from Bruce County’s Facilities and Housing Services team worked on building remediation and serving tenants’ immediate needs.

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter