There was a recent fire in the Ward, and residents around the burnt house are concerned for their own safety. A fence has been erected around the demolished house for safety reasons. Fortunately, not many fires occur in Toronto and even less in our Ward.
Due to residents’ concerns, I (and my staff) made some inquiries into the cause of that fire, and my discovery, in summary, was that the investigation is in the hands of the Ontario Fire Marshal. It is still under investigation, and they do not have to share their findings. Also their very preliminary assessment is that there is no criminal investigation needed and there were no deaths.
Our city’s fire investigators do not have the investigative role or the skills to perform the investigation. The governance of this area is under Ontario’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. Under this Act, the collective bargaining contract (Part IX) also forms part of that governance. Our inspectors are trained for fire prevention and risk assessment. And our fire fighters are trained to fight fires and other emergencies.
I also spoke to our Fire Fighters’ Association new President, Frank Pamagnano, and Toronto Fire Chief, Jim Sales, and was informed that Toronto has only just recently began taking on that investigative role for more routine fires as Ontario Fire Marshal will only investigate major fires or emergencies. Experienced staff will be hired who will then train and mentor others.