Ottawa

Cause of Donald Street fire unknown

Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire that forced 700 people from an apartment highrise on Donald Street last summer.

Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire that forced 700 people from an apartment highrise on Donald Street last summer.

A report from the Electrical Safety Authority obtained by CBC Ottawa through an access to information request found that damage was too extensive to properly determine the cause of the fire.

Two workers were injured on Aug. 29 after an electrical vault explosion at 1244 Donald St., a 16-floor apartment building owned by Greenwin Property Management.

"Due to the catastrophic failure the exact cause cannot be determined," the report found.

Ted Oleehna, the chief engineer for the Electrical Safety Authority, said water seepage or accumulated dirt could have been factors.

But the report adds it wasn't known if any scheduled maintenace was done on the electrical vault since 2007.

The Electrical Safety Authority is working on developing electrical equipment maintenance standards that could prevent fires like this.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said two workers were hurt in the fire. There was only one worker injured.
    Feb 14, 2012 11:30 AM ET

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