File photo

An elderly woman has died in hospital after a Wednesday afternoon fire at Maple Village Residence in east London – a blaze investigators are attributing to careless smoking.

Fire crews were called to the 45-unit supportive housing facility on Hamilton Road, west of Highbury Avenue, around noon. The fire was contained to the unit where the woman lived.

Wednesday’s fire was London’s second fatal fire of 2017. Both were caused by careless smoking, said assistant deputy chief Jack Burt.

“We just need to get the message out,” he said. “Careless smoking is really a preventable cause of fires. It’s the number two cause of fires here in the city behind cooking fires.”

Burt said smokers should always take their cigarettes outside, or at least make sure they’re fully extinguished in ash trays.

“There was a lot of smoke and a lot of heat, but very little fire, which usually comes when a fire has been smouldering for a while,” platoon chief Lewis Carter said Wednesday.

“It burned itself out.”

The upper-level unit where the fire was discovered is separated from the rest of the residence by a small hallway, so the rest of the building was “untouched” by smoke or flames, Carter said Wednesday.

The Ontario Fire Marshal was called in to investigate the blaze, which left an estimated $100,000 worth of damages in its wake.

The residence has since been released back to the back to the building owner, Burt said.

The building’s housing manager said Thursday morning no other residents have been displaced by the blaze.

Source: Careless smoking kills woman in house fire | The London Free Press