Thunder Bay

Smoke alarm alerts residents to take quick action

Thunder Bay's Fire Service is investigating the cause of a fire that broke out in a north-side condominium Sunday.

Laundry room fire at Brookside Manor causes smoke damage

Residents of a condominium at Brookside Manor in Thunder Bay took quick action after discovering their laundry room had caught fire. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

Thunder Bay's Fire Service is investigating the cause of a fire that broke out in a north-side condominium Sunday.

Mary Sinclair said the smoke detector went off in her ground-floor unit at Brookside Manor on Algoma Street around noon.

She and her husband were shocked to find a fire in their laundry room.

"So I went out into the hallway towards the laundry room which is at the front door, just inside the front door," Sinclair said. There was smoke billowing out of there and I opened the door and looked in and it was all flames coming up."

One of Sinclair’s first thoughts was to alert the other people who live in the building.

"I was worried about the neighbours, you know, before the [building's] alarm went off," Sinclair said. "So I was going knocking on the doors."

Closing door helped

There was smoke damage in the apartment but no one was hurt.

Fire service officials said that, when the Sinclairs closed their laundry room door, it helped contain and extinguish the flames.

"When they close the door, it reduces the amount of oxygen that the fire gets," Captain Richard Morden said. "And it almost puts it out ...  It just becomes a smoldering fire."

Sinclair said she and her husband were in the kitchen making lunch when the smoke detector went off. There was nothing wrong in the kitchen, so she checked around the apartment and saw the smoke coming out from the laundry room.

The smoke alarm did exactly what Moors said it should do: "It alerted them to a danger and they reacted."

Sinclair says it looked like the flames were coming from a recycling bag containing newspapers, but the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Although the fire was contained to one apartment, all the building’s residents went outside until firefighters cleared them to go back in.

Sinclair said she’s glad people are okay, but the experience left her feeling "devastated."

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