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Do you live in one of Brampton's hot zones for residential fires? Find out here

After what was the deadliest year on record for fires in Brampton, city officials have zeroed in on three hot spot neighbourhoods where blazes were most prevalent in the hope of saving lives.

A new project by the city crunches the data to identify where fires are breaking out and why

Flames leaped sky-high as at least two homes under construction in Brampton caught fire last year. (Pascal Marchand)

After what was the deadliest year on record for fires in Brampton, city officials have zeroed in on three hot spot neighbourhoods where blazes were most prevalent in the hope of saving lives. 

Armbro Heights in the city's south end, Ridge Hill in central-west Brampton and City Centre saw almost 250 fires from 2012 to 2017. That represents 32 per cent of all residential fires in the city — with at least 30 per cent starting in the kitchen. Cooking in the garage and improperly discarded smoking materials were among other key causes, the city says.

The findings come out of an analysis of data from a variety of sources, including Brampton Fire records and polling and research firm Environics. It's all part of of an effort to improve fire safety in the city.

In 2017, five people died in fires in Brampton, the most in the city's history. That prompted officials to do something they'd never done before: work with an analytics company to map out where fires were happening and why.

In Armbro Heights, 40 per cent of fires were started by unattended cooking, the analysis found.
(City of Brampton)
It was a similar situation in the City Centre, where 35 per cent of fires started in kitchens.
(City of Brampton)
And in Ridgehill, discarded smoking materials were second only to kitchen-related fires.
(City of Brampton)

Some of the hot zones identified through the city have a large proportion of high-rise residential buildings. And while there are just 88 such buildings in Brampton, officials say they accounted for 16 per cent of all residential fires over the five-year period. 

As part of their efforts, fire crews went door to door in parts of Brampton on Tuesday speaking with residents and giving out smoke alarms.

Irma Orzeck was one of those residents. The 71-year-old lives in one of the city's hot zones and knows all too well how easy it is for fires to spring up at home.

It wasn't long ago that fire crews had to be called to her home when her basement freezer started smoking.

"There would have been a big fire had I not been home," said Orzeck, thankful that a new alarm was being installed at her home.